Motion for Review from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade
County No. 15-17145, Stacy D. Glick, Judge.
J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Jeffrey Paul DeSousa,
Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Christina L. Dominguez,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
SALTER, EMAS and FERNANDEZ, JJ.
ON MOTION TO REVIEW ORDER DENYING POST-TRIAL
Ruiz seeks review of the trial court's order denying his
motion for supersedeas bond. We hold that the trial court
abused its discretion in denying the motion for supersedeas
bond without proper consideration of the principles
established in Younghans v. State, 90 So.2d 308
(Fla. 1956) and later formalized in Florida Rule of Criminal
Procedure 3.691. We reverse the trial court's order
denying bond, and remand with instructions to immediately
reconsider Ruiz's motion for supersedeas bond and, if
appropriate, to set reasonable conditions of release pending
was arrested in August 2015 and charged with, inter alia,
three felonies: two counts of battery on a law enforcement
officer and one count of resisting an officer with violence.
Ruiz was released pretrial on bond and remained out of
custody on pretrial release without incident for more than
two years during the pendency of the prosecution. Ruiz
alleged, without dispute from the State, that during this
two-year period he attended court on each occasion his
appearance was required and did not violate any conditions of
his pretrial release.
November 28, 2017, following a jury trial, Ruiz was convicted
of one count of battery on a law enforcement officer, one
count of simple battery, and one count of resisting an
officer with violence. Following the verdict, the trial court
permitted Ruiz to remain out of custody and on house arrest
pending sentencing, scheduled to be held two months later.
While awaiting sentencing, Ruiz appeared in court on three
separate occasions as directed, and did not violate any
conditions of his post-trial/pre-sentencing release. During
this time Ruiz asserts that he also completed an anger
management course and attended alcoholics anonymous several
times per week.
advance of the sentencing hearing, Ruiz submitted to a
forensic psychological examination. The psychologist noted
Ruiz was cooperative, mild-mannered and respectful. At the
conclusion of his examination and evaluation, the
psychologist indicated that Ruiz presented a low probability
of future violence, low probability of serious physical harm,
and low risk on both the clinical and future risk management
sentencing hearing was held on January 25, 2018, where the
defense requested a sentence of probation. Judge Stacy Glick
sentenced Ruiz to 364 days in the Dade County Jail. In
imposing this sentence, the trial judge noted that Ruiz was
neither a danger to the community nor likely to reoffend. The
trial judge also denied Ruiz's previously-filed motion
for new trial, which raised eight separate errors, each of
which Ruiz contended warranted a new trial. At the conclusion
of the sentencing hearing, Ruiz was taken into custody and
the trial court appointed the Office of the Public Defender
to represent Ruiz on appeal. The following day, counsel filed
a motion for supersedeas bond.
hearing on the motion for supersedeas bond was held on
February 1, 2018. Following that hearing, Judge Glick entered
an order denying the motion and adopted, as her basis for so
ruling, the contemporaneous oral findings she made at the
February 1 hearing. The transcript of that hearing reveals
the following findings made by the trial judge as the basis
for denying the motion:
The reason that you're still there [in custody] is
because the jury found you guilty. You were facing up to 11
years in state prison. My initial sentence was going to be
higher than I gave you 364 [days in jail--] based on the
wishes of the officers. [The officers] believe that you
should have gotten more. I did not give you the maximum. I
didn't even give you close to the max. I gave you 364.
You asked me why you're here. I heard the facts of the
case and that's why you're here. You were found
guilty. At this time I am going to deny the motion for
would appear, from the statements made by the trial judge,
that she denied the motion for bond pending appeal for two
reasons: (1) the jury found Ruiz guilty; and (2) she already
gave Ruiz a "break" by sentencing him to only 364
days in the Dade County Jail, a sentence well below the
statutory maximum and less than the sentence requested by the
police officers in this case.
not belabor the point that neither of these findings serves
as a proper basis to deny a motion for bond pending appeal.
Indeed, and as Ruiz's motion for review cogently
observes, the first "reason" necessarily applies to
every single defendant requesting a supersedeas bond. Were
they not already found guilty they would not be seeking a
bond pending appeal. As to the second "reason, " we
presume that the trial judge fashioned a sentence she
determined to be appropriate given the circumstances of the
case and the background of the defendant. There is simply no
support for the proposition that, because the trial
judge's sentence was below the maximum, or less ...