final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Michael James Orlando, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Virginia Murphy, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Jessenia J.
Concepcion, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
factors a juvenile court judge can consider in rendering a
disposition are challenged in this appeal. In his appeal from
an adjudication and commitment to the Department of Juvenile
Justice ("DJJ"), the juvenile argues the trial
court erred in: (1) permitting a forensic crime lab analyst
to testify at the adjudicatory hearing; (2) admitting the
analyst's report; and (3) considering the juvenile's
subsequent arrests, without adjudication, during the
disposition hearing. We affirm on the evidentiary issues, but
reverse the disposition and remand the case for a new
disposition without consideration of the charges for which
there has been no adjudication.
State charged the juvenile with possession of marijuana under
twenty grams, a first degree misdemeanor. The court denied a
motion to suppress, and the matter proceeded to an
the State sought to introduce testimony from a forensic crime
lab analyst, defense counsel objected and requested a
Richardson hearing. It argued the State improperly
noticed the lab analyst as a BSO Chemist on the witness list,
and failed to produce the lab results until the morning of
the hearing. As a result, defense counsel asked the court to
exclude the lab analyst's testimony and lab report.
State responded that the BSO chemist was listed as a witness
because there is no way of knowing which chemist is actually
going to test the substance when discovery is filed. It also
claimed the juvenile was not prejudiced because he was on
notice he would be receiving lab reports. And, the State
could not have provided the report sooner because BSO has a
lab policy to not test drugs until shortly before trial.
counsel replied the juvenile was prejudiced because one of
his defense theories was that there was no marijuana in the
cigarette taken by police. Defense counsel also argued the
State's practice of waiting until the last minute to test
evidence prejudices all defense attorneys.
trial court then ruled:
Okay. So, under the circumstances as presented, by definition
because of the way this county operates, I don't find
that it's a willful act on behalf of the State although I
sympathize with how the process works. I don't believe
that the extreme sanction of the exclusion of the evidence
nor the prohibition of this witness testifying is warranted
under the circumstances presented.
If you feel that you need a recess for a few minutes I'll
certainly entertain that. But to exclude it or prevent this
witness from testifying, that will be denied; nor did I find
any willful act -- any act that rises to the level of a
willful act or an intentional act. Okay. So, noted for the
report was admitted over defense objection. The trial court
found the juvenile guilty. The trial court held the