FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Lee County; J. Frank Porter,
L. Dimmig, II, Public Defender, and Timothy J. Ferreri,
Assistant Public Defender, Bartow, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Katherine Coombs
Cline, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.
Stacey Deno entered a negotiated no-contest plea to
introducing contraband into a county detention facility. She
timely appeals her judgment and sentence and argues that the
trial court erred in denying her dispositive motion to
suppress evidence. We disagree and affirm.
and Procedural History
County Sheriff's Sergeant George Mingione conducted a
lawful traffic stop of a vehicle that had a defective
taillight and lacked a rear bumper. James Russell was driving
the vehicle, and Deno was in the front passenger seat. At the
time, Deno had an outstanding arrest warrant for a probation
violation. Sergeant Mingione explained the reason for the
stop and asked Russell and Deno for identification, which he
typically did as a matter of course both for his own
edification and so that he could check for outstanding
warrants. Russell provided the requested information, but
Deno told Sergeant Mingione that her name was Mindy Deno.
When Sergeant Mingione ran that name through the system, the
photograph that it brought up was plainly of someone else.
Mingione returned to the vehicle, asked Deno to step out, and
asked her about the photograph. Deno claimed that she had
lost 140 pounds, but Sergeant Mingione still did not believe
that she was the woman in the picture because they had
different facial features. Consequently, Sergeant Mingione
asked Deno to provide a fingerprint for his portable scanner.
After she had obliged and he had run the results through a
fingerprint database, Sergeant Mingione ascertained her true
identity and discovered her outstanding warrant for the
probation violation. When Sergeant Mingione confronted Deno
with this information, she explained that she had provided a
false name because she knew about the outstanding warrant and
did not want to go to jail.
was then arrested not only on the outstanding warrant but
also for providing a false name to a law enforcement officer,
see § 901.36(1), Fla. Stat. (2014), and she was
taken to the Lee County Jail. While Deno was changing into
her jail uniform, a deputy saw a small baggie containing what
appeared to be crack cocaine fall from her pants.
Consequently, Deno was also charged in a separate case with
introducing contraband into a county detention facility.
See § 951.22, Fla. Stat. (2014).
moved to suppress all of the evidence against her based on
what she contended was an illegal arrest for providing false
information to a law enforcement officer. Specifically, Deno
argued, as she argues on appeal, that she had been neither
under arrest nor lawfully detained when she had provided the
false name, and, therefore, Sergeant Mingione, as a matter of
law, could not have had reasonable suspicion that she had
violated section 901.36(1). After an evidentiary hearing, the
trial court denied her motion.
reviewing the trial court's ruling on a motion to
suppress evidence, we will not disturb the trial court's
findings of fact as long as competent, substantial evidence
supports those findings, but we review its application of law
to those facts de novo. State v. Godard, 202 So.3d
144, 145-46 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016).
901.36(1) provides, "It is unlawful for a person who
has been arrested or lawfully detained by a law
enforcement officer to give a false name, or otherwise
falsely identify himself or herself in any way, to the law
enforcement officer or any county jail personnel."
(Emphasis added.) Although both Deno and the State assert
that Sergeant Mingione's request for Deno's
identification occurred during a consensual encounter (with
their arguments, of course, diverging from there), Deno, as
the passenger in a vehicle subject to a valid traffic stop,
was lawfully detained at that point. See Brendlin v.
California, 551 U.S. 249, 255 (2007) (holding that
lawful traffic stop subjects not only driver but also
passenger to seizure under Fourth Amendment); see also
Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323, 333 (2009) ("A
lawful roadside stop begins when a vehicle is pulled over for
investigation of a traffic violation. The temporary seizure
of driver and passengers ordinarily continues, and remains
reasonable, for the duration of the stop. Normally, the stop
ends when the police have no further need to control the
scene, and inform the driver and passengers they are free to
leave."); Presley v. State, 42 Fla.L.Weekly
S817, S819-21 (Fla. Sept. 20, 2017) (discussing
Brendlin and Johnson, holding that officers
may prevent passengers from leaving traffic stop without
running afoul of Fourth Amendment as long as detention is
only for duration reasonably necessary to complete purpose of
traffic stop, and disapproving prior case law to
contrary). Moreover, had Deno responded truthfully to
Sergeant Mingione's request at the outset, the request