final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Angela Cox,
Thomas, Public Defender, and Steven Seliger, Assistant Public
Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Virginia Chester Harris,
Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee
appellant, James William Mock, III, argues that the trial
court violated the principles of double jeopardy when it
resentenced him on three counts to fifteen years in prison
when it previously sentenced him to ten years in prison on
those counts. Based on the written terms of the plea
agreement, the representations made by the State and defense
during the presentation of the plea agreement, and evidence
that the trial court had the plea agreement before it prior
to accepting the plea, we find that the appellant had an
expectation in the finality of his sentences.
the appellant's case came before the trial court, defense
counsel told the trial court that the parties had entered
into a plea agreement to resolve all of the appellant's
pending cases. Defense counsel stated that the State agreed
to drop some of the charges in four of the appellant's
six cases and to run his sentences concurrently. Upon the
State announcing that it had agreed to run the three minimum
mandatory sentences concurrently rather than consecutively,
the trial court asked for the cases numbers for those minimum
mandatory sentences. After the State provided the case
numbers, the State said "[a]nd all sentences for all
cases will be run concurrent as well." Defense counsel
then explained the terms of the plea agreement, which
included a reiteration that all of the appellant's
remaining eight counts would run concurrently, with the
sentences being up to the trial court.
the plea colloquy, the trial court went over the minimum and
maximum sentences the appellant could receive for each felony
degree. The appellant acknowledged that he understood each of
the sentencing ranges. The trial court then stated that the
State agreed to run the minimum mandatory sentences
concurrently even though they were supposed to run
consecutively and the minimum sentence he could receive was
ten years in prison and the maximum sentence was life
imprisonment. The appellant acknowledged that he understood.
Later in the plea colloquy, the trial court acknowledged that
it had plea agreement before it when it asked the appellant
if he had thoroughly reviewed the terms of it. The written
plea agreement stated that the State agreed that all of the
sentences would run concurrently. The trial court ultimately
accepted the appellant's plea and postponed sentencing.
interim, the appellant hired private counsel and filed a
motion to withdraw his plea stating that his prior counsel
had coerced him into accepting the plea and that he did not
have sufficient time to fully evaluate his decision. Weeks
later, he filed a notice withdrawing his motion to withdraw
his plea. When the case came back before the trial court, the
trial court conducted another colloquy with the appellant to
ensure that he understood the terms of his prior plea deal
and that he would be bound by those terms. In that colloquy,
the trial court stated that the appellant was leaving
sentencing up to the trial court and his mandatory minimum
sentences would still run concurrently. The appellant stated
that he understood the terms and still wanted to withdraw his
motion to withdraw his plea.
the parties reconvened months later for sentencing, the
appellant was still represented by private counsel and there
was a different prosecutor assigned to the appellant's
case. The trial court ordered one of the appellant's
sentences, from a case not before this Court on appeal, to
run consecutively to his other sentences. Neither the State
nor the defense brought it to the trial court's attention
that the consecutive sentence violated the plea agreement.
consecutive sentences prompted the appellant to file a motion
to correct sentencing error pursuant the Florida Rules of
Criminal Procedure 3.800. At the resentencing hearing, the
trial court stated that it remembered the plea agreement
being represented as an agreement to run only the minimum
mandatory sentences concurrently, but the trial court noted
that the written plea agreement did not limit the concurrent
sentences. The defense argued that the plea form was a
contract, and the appellant was entitled to have all his
sentences run concurrently. The State argued that the trial
court's interpretation of the parties' agreement was
supported by the "spirit of the agreement" and the
plea colloquy. The State further argued that the original
prosecutor also confirmed that this was the understanding of
the parties. The trial court stated that it always intended
to sentence the appellant to fifteen years in prison and
increased the sentences at issue by five years.
legality of a sentence is a question of law and as such is
reviewed de novo. Washington v. State, 199 So.3d
1110, 1111 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016). Courts perform a de novo
review to determine if a double jeopardy violation has
occurred. Graham v. State, 170 So.3d 141, 142 (Fla.
1st DCA 2015).
As [one's right to be free from double jeopardy] relates
to barring multiple punishments for the same offense in the
noncapital sentencing context, the application of the double
jeopardy clause turns on the extent and legitimacy of a
defendant's expectation of finality in that sentence. If
a defendant has a legitimate expectation of finality, then an
increase in that sentence is prohibited by the double
jeopardy clause. If, however, there is some circumstance
which undermines the legitimacy of that expectation, then a
court may permissibly increase the sentence. In other words,
the later imposition of more onerous terms violates the
double jeopardy clause only when it disrupts the
defendant's legitimate expectations of finality.
Dunbar v. State, 89 So.3d 901, 904-05 (Fla. 2012)
(internal citations omitted) (internal ...