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Castaneda v. State

Florida Court of Appeal, Third District

January 18, 2012

Guillermo CASTANEDA, Appellant,
v.
The STATE of Florida, et al., Appellees.

Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender, and John Eddy Morrison, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.

Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jay E. Silver, Assistant Attorney General, for appellees.

Before SALTER, EMAS, and FERNANDEZ, JJ.

FERNANDEZ, J.

Guillermo Castaneda appeals his judgment of conviction and sentence for direct criminal contempt. We reverse because the trial court failed to give Castaneda the opportunity to present evidence of mitigating circumstances.

It is clear from the record that Castaneda's behavior was contemptuous, and we do not disturb this aspect of the trial court's determination. Castaneda, however, was entitled to an opportunity to present evidence of excusing or mitigating circumstances before the trial court imposed its sentence.

Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.830 outlines the requirements for an adjudication and sentence for direct criminal contempt. The trial court must follow six steps in order to comply with rule 3.830:

1. Direct criminal contempt may be punished summarily if the court saw or heard the conduct constituting the contempt committed in the actual presence of the court.
2. The judgment of guilt shall include a recital of those facts upon which the adjudication of guilt is based.
3. Prior to the adjudication of guilt, the judge shall inform the defendant of the accusation against him and inquire as to whether he has any cause to show why he should not be adjudged guilty of contempt

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by the court and sentenced therefor.
4. The defendant shall be given the opportunity to present evidence of excusing or mitigating circumstances.
5. The judgment shall be signed by the judge and ...

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