County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL LAW - Evidence - There was sufficient evidence to support the finding that the defendant violated §316.2397(1) where he drove a motorcycle that had a red light visible from the front. Judgment and sentence affirmed. Guanciale v. State, No. CRC 06-12 APANO, (Fla. 6th Cir. App.Ct. January 22, 2007).

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

 

MATTHEW GUANCIALE

 

            Appellant,

 

v.                                                                                                                                                                   Appeal No. CRC 06-12 APANO

UCN522006AP00012XXXXCR

STATE OF FLORIDA

 

            Appellee.

______________________________/

 

Opinion filed _________________.

 

Appeal from a judgment and sentence

imposed by the Pinellas County Court

Traffic Magistrate Julie Milham

 

Matthew Guanciale

Pro Se

 

Heather Rose Cramer, Esq.

Attorney for appellant

 

ORDER AND OPINION

 

            (J. Sullivan)

 

            THIS MATTER is before the Court on the defendant, Matthew Guanciale’s, appeal from a judgment and sentence imposed by the Pinellas County Court. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the judgment and sentence.

            The defendant was convicted of violating §316.2397(1), Fla. Stat. (2005). That statute reads: “No person shall drive or move or cause to be moved any vehicle or equipment upon any highway within this state with any lamp or device thereon showing or displaying a red or blue light visible from directly in front thereof … .” A police officer  testified that when he saw the defendant traveling down the road he could see a red light coming from the front of the defendant’s motorcycle. The defendant contended that the red lights were not visible from the front; they were only visible from the side.

 Whether or not the defendant violated the statute is, in this particular case, a question of fact.  The statute clearly states that a red light cannot be visible from the front of a vehicle. The police officer testified that there was a red light visible from the front of the defendant’s motorcycle, but the defendant testified that there was not. When faced with a conflict in the evidence the trier of fact may determine which testimony to believe. The hearing officer in this case believed the police officer. It is not for this appellate court to disturb this factual finding. See e.g., Slater v. State, 310 So.2d 31 (Fla. 1st DCA 1975).

            IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the judgment and sentence is affirmed.

            DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this _____ day of January, 2007.

 

                                                                        ___________________________

                                                                                    David A. Demers

                                                                                    Circuit Judge

 

 

 

                                                                        ___________________________

                                                                                    Robert J. Morris, Jr.

                                                                                    Circuit Judge

 

 

 

                                                                        ___________________________

                                                                                    Irene H. Sullivan

                                                                                    Circuit Judge

 

cc:        Heather Rose Cramer, Esq.

            Matthew Guanciale

            Traffic Magistrate Milham