IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF
Appeal No. CRC 04-60 APANO
WILLIAM B. CUNNINGHAM, III
Opinion filed ____________________.
Appeal from a sentence imposed by
Christie Biggs, Esq.
Assistant State Attorney
ORDER AND OPINION
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the State’s appeal from a sentence imposed by the Pinellas County Court. After reviewing the brief and the record (the appellee failed to file an answer brief), this Court reverses the sentence.
The defendant was charged with obtaining property by worthless check. He entered a plea of guilty to the charges and was sentenced. At sentencing the State asked that restitution be imposed for property that was obtained by the worthless check. The State had previously filed a Notice of Intent to Seek Restitution. The trial judge, however, refused to impose restitution, citing his philosophical aversion to imposing restitution in circumstances involving merchants.
It was error not to impose restitution in this case. §775.089(1)(a), Fla.Stat. (2003) provides that: “the court shall order the defendant to make restitution to the victim for: (1) Damage or loss caused directly or indirectly by the defendant’s offense … unless it finds clear and convincing evidence not to order such restitution.” The defendant’s offense caused damage in this case, and the trial court’s philosophical aversion to imposing restitution to merchants is not a clear and compelling reason not to order restitution. Therefore, restitution should have been imposed as part of the defendant’s sentence in this case.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this case is remanded to the Pinellas County Court so that it can impose restitution in the appropriate amount as part of the sentence.
AND ORDERED in Chambers at
David A. Demers
Robert J. Morris, Jr.
Irene S. Sullivan
cc: State Attorney