IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF
vs. CASE NO; 51-2006-CA-2459WS
Dennis J. Alfonso, Esq.,
for Jed Pittman, Clerk of Circuit Court
ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR
WRIT OF MANDAMUS
On January 13,
2004, petitioner was charged with driving while license suspended. The petitioner’s arraignment was set for March 12, 2004, but he
was not present because he was not transported from
Florida Statute 314.18(10) reads:
(a) Any person
who . . . is cited for an offense listed under this subsection may, in lieu of
payment of fine or court appearance, elect to enter a plea of nolo contendere
and provide proof of compliance to the clerk of the court or authorized
operator of a traffic violations bureau. In such case, adjudication shall be
withheld; . . . This subsection applies to the following offenses:
1. Operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license in violation of the provisions of s. 322.03, s. 322.065, or s. 322.15(1), or operating a motor vehicle with a license which has been suspended for failure to appear, failure to pay civil penalty, or failure to attend a driver improvement course pursuant to s. 322.291. . .
(b) Any person cited for an offense listed in this subsection shall present proof of compliance prior to the scheduled court appearance date. . . .
This Court finds that the plain wording of the statute dictates that the election be made prior to a court appearance. Here, the election was not made prior to the court appearance. Therefore, petitioner could not elect to proceed under F.S. 314.14(10).
to Jones v. State, 832 So. 2d 207 (
Accordingly, this court finds that an election under Florida Statute 318.14(10), must be made prior to a court appearance. See Carter v. State, 763 So.2d 1134, 1135 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999)(if petitioner was going to avail himself of section 318.14(10), he had to do so prior to “the scheduled court appearance date.” ).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Petition for Writ of Mandamus is DENIED.
AND ORDERED in Chambers at New Port Richey,
Primary Appellate Judge
Daniel D. Diskey
Copies furnished to:
Dennis J. Alfonso, Esq.