final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Martin County; Lawrence Michael Mirman, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Gary Lee Caldwell, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and MaryEllen M.
Farrell, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
defendant appeals his conviction and sentence on charges of:
1) two counts of high speed or wanton fleeing; 2) one count
of the lesser offense of reckless driving and wanton fleeing;
and 3) one count of giving false information to law
enforcement during felony investigation or missing person. He
argues the trial court erred in failing to hold a competency
hearing prior to trial. We agree and reverse for further
charges arose from a high-speed car chase and subsequent
crash. The State charged the defendant with giving a false
name to law enforcement, and fleeing or attempting to elude
law enforcement, among other charges.
to trial, defense counsel moved for a mental competency
examination. The trial court granted the motion and appointed
an expert to examine the defendant's mental competency to
proceed. Two subsequent stipulated motions for continuance
were filed because the defendant's competency
examinations were still pending.
further continuances, defense counsel moved to withdraw. The
court granted the motion and appointed another attorney to
represent the defendant. The newly appointed attorney
represented defendant at trial, but failed to address the
unresolved competency issue before trial.
jury convicted the defendant of: 1) two counts of high speed
or wanton fleeing; 2) one count of the lesser offense of
reckless driving and wanton fleeing; and 3) one count of
giving false information to law enforcement during felony
investigation or missing person. At sentencing, the trial
court reviewed the presentencing investigation report. It
then noted "whatever sentence to be imposed [is based]
just on the evidence at trial and the other information
contained in the PSI that would be proper as far as prior
record and so forth."
defendant now appeals. Among other issues, he argues the
trial court erred in failing to hold a competency hearing and
enter an order on his competency prior to trial. The State
agrees and so do we. We therefore remand the case, pursuant
to Machin v. State, 267 So.3d 1098, 1101 (Fla. 4th
we held that where a court grants a defendant's motion
for appointment of an expert for a competency examination,
but fails to hold a hearing or enter a written finding on the
movant's competency to proceed, the case must be
temporarily remanded to the circuit court with specific
instructions. Id. It requires that we "direct
that within sixty days, the circuit court shall hold a
hearing and issue an order determining whether a nunc pro
tunc competency evaluation is possible."
on the outcome, the circuit court must follow one of the
following paths on remand:
1) If the circuit court determines a nunc pro tunc competency
determination is not possible, the court must vacate the
defendant's conviction and sentence. The appeal in this
Court will be dismissed as moot. In this circumstance, the
circuit court must hold a competency ...