289 So.2d 3 (Fla. 1974), 44958, In re Rule 3.131(B) Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure

Docket Nº:44958.
Citation:289 So.2d 3
Party Name:In re RULE 3.131(b), FLORIDA RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.
Case Date:February 04, 1974
Court:Supreme Court of Florida
 
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289 So.2d 3 (Fla. 1974)

In re RULE 3.131(b), FLORIDA RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.

No. 44958.

Supreme Court of Florida.

February 4, 1974

A case of original jurisdiction--Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure.

PER CURIAM.

Under the present Rules of Criminal Procedure, every defendant charged with a non-capital offense is entitled to a preliminary hearing within 72 hours if he is in custody. The purpose of this provision was to speed the filing of information and thereby require the state attorney to determine, within 72 hours, whether a defendant will be prosecuted or should be released.

Before filing an information every state attorney should not only seek probable cause in his investigation, but also determine the possibility of proving the case beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. If the latter cannot be accomplished, no information should be filed and the defendant should be released. The rule requiring this determination within 72 hours will result in the filing of some cases in which the state attorneys do not have a firm belief as to the integrity of the charge, or the state attorneys will be required to invoke a complete preliminary hearing system, with all its attendant costs and burdens upon the judicial system as well as the people of the state.

The state attorneys have requested that this rule be amended so that they will be allowed the period of 96 hours within which to complete their investigation of the case and determine whether to file an information or dismiss the charge. If the

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time is extended to 96 hours, the number of cases in which no information is filed will be increased and the number of cases in which a nolle prosequi of an information is entered will be reduced. The amendment will prevent charges from being filed against innocent people in cases where the state objectively could not prove the charges brought by the investigating law enforcement agency.

In an effort to expedite the dismissal of unwarranted charges brought against innocent citizens and in an effort to facilitate the operation of the criminal justice system with least inconvenience to the citizen, Rule 3.131(b) 33 F.S.A. is hereby amended so that the same shall read as follows:

RULE 3.131 PRELIMINARY HEARING

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(b) In all cases where the defendant is in custody, except capital offenses or offenses punishable by life imprisonment, the preliminary...

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