Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mock v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

June 8, 2018

James William Mock, III, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Angela Cox, Judge

          Andy Thomas, Public Defender, and Steven Seliger, Assistant Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Virginia Chester Harris, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee

          ROBERTS, J.

         The 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.

         When 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.

         During 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.

         In the 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.

         When 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.

         The 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.

         The 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.