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Parks v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District

June 16, 2017

ROBIN QUINTIN PARKS, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

         NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

         Appeal pursuant to Fla. R. App. P. 9.141(b)(2) from the Circuit Court for Polk County; Glenn T. Shelby, Judge.

          Robin Quintin Parks, pro se.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Donna S. Koch, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.

         EN BANC

          MORRIS, Judge.

         Robin Quintin Parks appeals the order denying his motion to correct illegal sentence filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a). We reverse because the postconviction court erroneously found that Parks' challenge to a sentence beyond the maximum allowable for his offenses, which was imposed as part of a negotiated plea agreement, could only be brought under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850.

         Parks entered a negotiated plea to three counts of the lesser offenses of attempted second-degree murder with a firearm, first-degree felonies, [1] in exchange for concurrent sentences of fifteen years' imprisonment with a ten-year mandatory minimum followed by life probation. In his motion to correct illegal sentence, he argued that by the addition of life probation, his sentences exceeded the statutory maximum and were illegal. See Clussman v. State, 89 So.3d 1093, 1094 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012) (reversing for the striking of the probationary terms of Clussman's sentences because when they were added to her terms of imprisonment, her sentences exceeded the statutory maximum). Parks correctly noted that a sentence may be illegal even if a defendant agreed to it as part of a negotiated plea. See McDuffie v. State, 946 So.2d 99, 100 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006) ("A trial court cannot impose an illegal sentence even pursuant to a plea bargain." (quoting Ferguson v. State, 804 So.2d 411, 412 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001))).

         Citing Dominguez v. State, 98 So.3d 198, 200 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012), and Nedd v. State, 855 So.2d 664, 665 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003), the postconviction court found that Parks' motion was more properly considered under rule 3.850 because Parks had to first move to withdraw his plea. The court then denied the motion as time-barred under rule 3.850 because it was filed over two years after Parks' judgment and sentences became final. See Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850(b). But Dominguez and Nedd are distinguishable from the facts of this case; we write to explain that distinction and, to the extent necessary, recede from them.

         Nedd entered a plea to a lesser charge-trafficking in fourteen to twenty-eight grams of heroin-in exchange for a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years' imprisonment. Nedd, 855 So.2d at 665. Nedd argued in his rule 3.800(a) motion that his sentence was illegal because this court held the statute underlying his sentence unconstitutional in Taylor v. State, 818 So.2d 544 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002). This court held that Nedd's motion

actually challeng[ed] the terms of a plea agreement and, thus, the resulting convictions. Because a plea withdrawal is a potential consequence in this case, Nedd must seek relief under rule 3.850. In that proceeding, the State will have the option to either agree to a resentencing or withdraw from the plea agreement and proceed to trial on the original charges.

855 So.2d at 665 (citing Bruno v. State, 837 So.2d 521, 523 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003)).

         Dominguez also entered a plea to a lesser offense-felony battery under section 784.03, Florida Statutes (2009)-in exchange for a sentence of five years' imprisonment as a prison releasee reoffender (PRR). Dominguez, 98 So.3d at 200. He subsequently filed a rule 3.800(a) motion, arguing that he was illegally sentenced as a PRR because felony battery under section 784.03(2), which reclassifies simple battery to a third-degree felony upon a second battery conviction, did not qualify for PRR sentencing. Noting that an illegal sentence may not be imposed pursuant to a plea agreement, this court followed Nedd and reversed and remanded for the postconviction court to treat Dominguez's motion as if it had been filed under rule 3.850. Id. at 200-01.

          In both Dominguez and Nedd, sufficient time remained for the defendants to move to vacate ...


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