County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL LAW – Jury trial – evidence. Defendant was never arrested or lawfully detained when officer spoke with defendant at the door of her house; therefore, she could not be guilty of violating 901.36 --- falsely identifying herself to a law enforcement officer. Judgment and sentence reversed. Sabrina Garrett v. State, No. CRC 05-35 APANO, (Fla. 6th Cir.App.Ct. Feb. 21, 2006).

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

 

 

SABRINA GARRETT

 

            Appellant,

 

Appeal No. CRC 05-35APANO

                                                                  UCN522005AP000035XXXXCR

 

v.

 

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

      Appellee.

___________________________/

 

 

Opinion filed __________________.

 

Appeal from a judgment and sentence

imposed by the Pinellas County Court

County Judge Dorothy Vaccaro

 

John Thor White, Esq.

Attorney for appellant

 

Ryan Lossius, Esq.

Assistant State Attorney

 

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

      (J. Sullivan)

 

      THIS MATTER is before the Court on the defendant, Sabrina Garrett’s, appeal from a judgment and sentence entered by the Pinellas County Court. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court reverses the judgment and sentence.

      The defendant pleaded no contest to charges of giving a false name to a law enforcement officer. She reserved her right to appeal the denial of her motion to

dismiss.

      The defendant argues that the trial court should have granted her motion to dismiss because the undisputed facts do not satisfy the essential elements of the crime charged. The standard of review for the order denying the motion to dismiss is de novo. State v. Pasko, 815 So.2d 680 (Fla. 2d DCA 2002).

      A police officer went to the defendant’s house to serve a trespass warning on the defendant. The officer asked for the defendant’s identity. In response, the defendant gave the officer a false name, false social security number, and a false birth date. The defendant signed the trespass warning under the false name. The officer then went to the complainant, who was the defendant’s neighbor, with a copy of the warning. The complainant then noticed the defendant had given the wrong name. The officer then went back to the defendant, who admitted giving the officer wrong information. The defendant was arrested and charged with violating §901.36(1), Fla. Stat. (2004).

 Under that statute: “It is unlawful for a person who has been arrested or lawfully detained by a law enforcement officer to give a false name, or otherwise falsely identify himself or herself in any way, to the law enforcement officer … .” A prerequisite to being guilty of violating this statute is that the defendant be “arrested or lawfully detained.” Under the facts of this case, the defendant was never arrested or lawfully detained. The officer merely knocked on her front door and asked her some questions. There was, therefore, no violation of this particular statute. The motion to dismiss should have been granted.

      IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the judgment and sentence are reversed, and this case is remanded to the trial court so that it may enter an order of dismissal.

      DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this _____ day of February, 2006.

 

                                                                              ____________________________

                                                                                          David A. Demers

                                                                                          Circuit Judge

 

 

 

                                                                              _____________________________                                                                                            Robert J. Morris, Jr.

                                                                                          Circuit Judge

 

 

 

                                                                              ___________________________

                                                                                          Irene H. Sullivan

                                                                                          Circuit Judge

 

 

cc:              State Attorney

 

                  John Thor White, Esq.

 

                  Judge Vacarro