TIMOTHY T. BAKER, Appellant,
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.
final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; Samantha Schosberg Feuer, Judge; L.T. Case
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Timothy Wang, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Rachael Kaiman,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
Timothy Baker, appeals his judgment and sentence for one
count of felon in possession of a firearm and one count of
possession of cocaine. Appellant argues that he is entitled
to a new trial and/or sentencing hearing because: 1) the
State improperly introduced evidence that the vehicle he
occupied at the time of his arrest was stolen; 2) the
prosecutor improperly bolstered the credibility of the
arresting officer during closing argument; and 3) the court
relied on impermissible factors when imposing its sentence.
We affirm on these issues. Appellant also appeals the portion
of his sentence imposing a public defender fee of $200. On
this issue, the State properly concedes error and we reverse
was charged with one count of felon in possession of a
firearm, one count of grand theft auto, and one count of
possession of cocaine after he was found sleeping in a stolen
vehicle with crack cocaine and a gun near his person.
Pursuant to Appellant's request, the felon in possession
charge was severed and tried independently. The jury found
Appellant guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
After a careful review of the record, we hold that no
reversible error occurred during the trial.
anticipation of sentencing, the State filed a written
sentencing memorandum wherein it argued that, based on the
fact Appellant acquired twelve felony and nine misdemeanor
convictions by the age of twenty-three, the maximum sentence
of ten years for the felon in possession of a firearm
conviction was appropriate. In its memorandum and again at
the sentencing hearing, the State represented that Appellant
was released from prison for the offense of being a
delinquent in possession of a firearm a mere forty-seven days
before he was arrested in the instant case. A prior
conviction for delinquent in possession of a firearm was
reflected on Appellant's scoresheet and Appellant's
counsel agreed that his scoresheet was accurate. After
considering the parties' arguments, the court sentenced
Appellant to ten years in prison with a three-year minimum
mandatory on the felon in possession charge. In doing so, the
[T]he severity of the offense increases with the length and
nature of the offender's prior record. Now you, know,
twelve prior convictions included the most recent conviction
. . . where the defendant served eighteen months in the
Department of Corrections for a delinquent in possession of a
firearm. . . . And that was forty-seven days-he was released
forty-seven days before the date of the offense in the case.
So, you know, obviously I've taken his prior record into
consideration, as well as the severity of the primary
conjunction with this sentence, the court also entered a $100
public defender fee lien. Thereafter, the State nolle prossed
the grand theft auto charge and Appellant pled guilty to the
remaining possession of cocaine charge. The court sentenced
Appellant to time served on the possession of cocaine charge
and entered another $100 public defender fee lien.
appeal, Appellant argues that this Court should remand for
resentencing because the State did not offer any proof
substantiating its claim that Appellant was recently released
from prison for the offense of being a delinquent in
possession of a firearm. Appellant cites to no authority
establishing that the State must offer proof of a
defendant's prior release date when the underlying
conviction is not in dispute and the release date is not
being used to prove eligibility for an enhanced sentence.
Indeed, it was entirely proper for the State to advise the
court about Appellant's undisputed criminal history.
See § 921.002(1)(d), Fla. Stat. (2017)
(providing that under the Criminal Punishment Code,
"[t]he severity of the sentence increases with the
length and nature of the offender's prior record").
Therefore, Appellant is not entitled to resentencing.
regard to the public defender fees, section 938.29 of the
Florida Statutes (2017) governs attorney's fee liability
for a criminal defendant who receives assistance from the
public defender's office. For cases involving a felony,
sub-section 938.29(1)(a) provides that "fees and costs
shall be set . . . at no less than $100 per case." A
court may impose a higher fee, but "there must
be evidence of the higher fees or costs and the trial court
must make factual findings thereon. Also in the event of
higher fees, the defendant must be notified of his right to a
hearing to contest the fees." Alexis v. State,
211 So.3d 81, 83 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).
the court imposed a total of $200 in public defender fees in
the same case without evidence supporting that amount,
without making any factual findings as to the amount, and
without informing Appellant of his right to challenge the
fees. Therefore, we are compelled to reverse and remand for
the trial court to either vacate the second $100 fee lien or
"to hold a hearing with proper notice to obtain evidence
in support of a public defender fee in an amount greater than
the statutory minimum." Id.
in part, reversed ...