IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF
Appeal No. CRC 05-5 APANO
Opinion filed ________________.
Appeal from a sentence entered
County Judge Thomas Freeman
Gregory Groger, Esq.
Assistant State Attorney
ORDER AND OPINION
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the State’s appeal from a sentence entered by the Pinellas County Court. After considering the brief and the record (the appellee failed to file an answer brief), this Court reverses the sentence.
The defendant pleaded no contest to charges of obstructing a law enforcement officer. The trial court withheld adjudication. Over the objection of the State, the trial court refused to place the defendant on probation. This was error.
§948.01(2), Fla.Stat. (2004) provides that:
[i]f it appears to the court upon hearing of the matter that
the defendant is not likely again to engage in a criminal
course of conduct and that the ends of justice and
welfare of society do not require that the defendant
presently suffer the penalty imposed by law, the court, in
its discretion, may either adjudge the defendant to be
guilty or stay and withhold the adjudication of guilt; and,
in either case, it shall stay and withhold the imposition of
sentence upon such defendant and shall place the defendant
In addition, Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.670 provides that:
[i]f the defendant is found guilty, a judgment of guilty,
and if the defendant has been acquitted, a judgment of
not guilty shall be rendered in open court and in writing,
signed by the judge, filed, and recorded. However, the
judge may withhold adjudication of guilt if the judge
places the defendant on probation.
Case law has interpreted this statute and rule as requiring probation whenever a trial court
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the sentence is reversed, and this case is remanded to the trial court for resentencing in accordance with this Order and Opinion.
AND ORDERED in Chambers at
David A. Demers
Robert J. Morris, Jr.
Irene S. Sullivan
cc: State Attorney