final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
St. Lucie County; Robert E. Belanger, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Richard B. Greene, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Allen R. Geesey,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
issue presented for our review is whether the trial court
erred in allowing the state to bring out the nature of
appellant's prior convictions in cross-examination after
appellant testified to the year in which he was charged for
those crimes. We find that the trial court erred and as a
result we reverse.
was charged with possession of cocaine and drug
paraphernalia. Police officers conducted a traffic stop on
appellant's vehicle. After appellant refused consent to
search the vehicle, the officers called for a K-9 unit.
Subsequently, the dog alerted to the rear passenger side of
the vehicle. The officers discovered a glue tube with
thirty-three crack cocaine rocks on the floorboard behind the
driver's seat within arm's reach of appellant. After
receiving his Miranda warnings, appellant denied
owning the vehicle.
Appellant testified in his defense. The parties agreed
appellant had been previously convicted of a felony or crime
of dishonesty four times. Before appellant testified, the
trial court instructed appellant that when asked how many
times he had been convicted of a felony or crime of
dishonesty, appellant was to answer "four." He was
told that if he answered differently, he would open the door
to allowing the state to put the prior convictions in.
following exchange ensued when appellant testified:
Q Okay. And you've had four, uh, felony crimes or
crimes of dishonesty?
A Yes sir, in 2010.
Q Okay. Well -
[THE STATE]: Uh, Your Honor, may we approach?
THE COURT: Yeah.
[THE STATE]: He got out of DOC in 2013.
THE COURT: Now he's opened the door.
[THE STATE]: Thank you.
(End of bench conference)
THE COURT: Any more questions?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: One moment, Judge. ...