IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
THE STATE OF
v. Appeal No. CRC 03-32 APANO
Opinion filed ______________________.
Appeal from a decision of the
County Judge Amy Williams
Edward Panzica, Esq.
Attorney for appellant
Nancy Lawler, Esq.
Assistant State Attorney
THIS MATTER is before the Court on Atimane Ziad’s appeal from a decision of the Pinellas County Court to deny his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court reverses the decision of the trial court.
The appellant entered a guilty plea in 2000 to the charge of battery.
He was not a citizen of the
First, the judge reasoned that the appellant was told in a 1997 hearing
in an unrelated case that there might be possible immigration consequences.
No transcript of that hearing, however, is in this appellate file. What is in
the record is a transcript showing that during the hearing on the appellant’s
motion to withdraw his plea, the State quoted from what was purportedly a transcript
of the 1997 case; but nowhere in the purported quote read by the State does
it mention deportation. This is insufficient. See Labaday v. State, 783
So.2d 275 (
Second, the judge found that the appellant in a 2001 proceeding was told about immigration consequences. Since this occurred after the time the appellant entered his plea in 2000, it is not relevant.
The final piece of information the trial court used to support its decision was that the appellant’s attorney testified that he read the plea form to the appellant, the plea form contained a section on the possible deportation consequences, and that the appellant appeared to understand. Upon cross-examination, however, the attorney admitted that he could not be sure that the appellant understood what he was being read. What is significant is that the attorney testified that he could not recall specifically explaining the possible deportation consequences to the appellant. He only testified that he read the form to the appellant.
In Periello v. State, 684 So.2d 258 (Fla.
4th DCA 1996), the defendant had not been advised of the possible
deportation consequences of his plea by the court. He had, however, been read
a seven-page plea agreement by his attorney, and had signed and initialed each
page of a plea form that contained information about deportation. The court
ruled that this was insufficient to deny the defendant’s motion to withdraw
his plea. This Court must follow that precedent. See also, Pikwrah v. State,
829 So.2d 402 (
the case at bar is unlike the situation in State v. Luders, 768 So.2d
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the trial court’s decision to deny the appellant’s motion to withdraw his plea is reversed, and this matter is remanded with
instructions to the trial court to grant the motion.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at
James R. Case
Nancy Moate Ley
John A. Schaefer
cc: State Attorney
Edward Panzica, Esq.