County Criminal Court: CRIMINAL PROCEDURE  --- Post –Conviction Relief --- Claim that defendant would not have entered plea if he knew, contrary to his attorney’s assertions, that he could not get his stalking conviction expunged is not grounds for withdrawing plea pursuant to Phillips v. State, 960 So.2d 29 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007). Order denying defendant’s motion to withdraw plea affirmed. Lang v. State, No. CRC 07-39 APANO ( Fla. 6th Cir. App. Ct. April 18, 2008).

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES FOR REHEARING

AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY

JOSHUA LANG

            Appellant,

                                                                              Appeal No. CRC 07-39 APANO

                                                                              UCN522007AP000039XXXXCR

v.

STATE OF FLORIDA

            Appellee.

__________________________/

Opinion filed _________________.

Appeal from an order entered

by the Pinellas County Court
County Judge James Pierce

Joseph T. Hobson, Esquire

Attorney for appellant

Gregory Thacker, Esquire

Assistant State Attorney

ORDER AND OPINION

            (J. Newton)

            THIS MATTER is before the Court on the defendant, Joshua Lang’s, appeal from an order denying his motion to withdraw his plea entered by the Pinellas County Court. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the decision of the trial court.

            The defendant entered a no contest plea to a stalking charge. He claims that he would never have entered the plea if he had known, contrary to the assertions of his trial counsel, that he was ineligible to have his record expunged. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the defendant’s motion. He is appealing that decision.

            In Phillips v. State, 960 So.2d 29 ( Fla. 4th DCA 2007), the appellate court held that a claim that trial counsel erroneously told the defendant that his guilty pleas would never be used against him and would be expunged after he completed probation was insufficient to allow him to withdraw his plea, even though he claimed he would not have entered the plea if he knew he could not expunge his record. Inasmuch as courts within the Second District Court of Appeal must obey controlling precedent from other districts, see e.g. Chapman v. State, 423 So.2d 578 (Fla. 2d DCA 1982), this Court must similarly find that the defendant’s claim is not grounds for withdrawing his plea. The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to withdraw his plea.

            IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this Court affirms the order denying the defendant’s motion to withdraw his plea.

            DONE AND ORDERED in Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida this _____ day of April, 2008.

                                                            _____________________________

                                                                        Joseph A. Bulone

                                                                        Circuit Court Judge

                                                            _____________________________

                                                                        David A. Demers

                                                                        Circuit Court Judge

                                                            ______________________________

                                                                        Cynthia J. Newton

                                                                        Circuit Court Judge

cc:        Office of the State Attorney

            Honorable James Pierce

            Joseph T. Hobson, Esquire