Ashley v. State, 79159

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtSHAW; BARKETT
Citation614 So.2d 486
Parties18 Fla. L. Week. S127 Thomas ASHLEY, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 79159,79159
Decision Date25 February 1993

Page 486

614 So.2d 486
18 Fla. L. Week. S127
Thomas ASHLEY, Petitioner,
v.
STATE of Florida, Respondent.
No. 79159.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Feb. 25, 1993.

Page 487

James B. Gibson, Public Defender and Daniel J. Schafer, Asst. Public Defender, Daytona Beach, for petitioner.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen. and Anthony J. Golden, Asst. Atty. Gen., Daytona Beach, for respondent.

SHAW, Justice.

We have for review Ashley v. State, 590 So.2d 27 (Fla. 5th DCA 1991), in which the court certified conflict with Inmon v. State, 383 So.2d 1103 (Fla.2d DCA), review denied, 389 So.2d 1111 (Fla.1980). We have jurisdiction. Art V, Sec. 3(b)(4), Fla.Const. We quash the decision in Ashley.

Based on an incident that took place October 29, 1989, Ashley was charged with battery on a correctional officer, a third-degree felony. On July 24, 1990, he entered a plea of nolo contendere, which was accepted, and three days later the State filed notice of intent to seek enhanced punishment as an habitual felony offender. See Sec. 775.084, Fla.Stat. (1989). Ashley unsuccessfully sought to withdraw his plea on August 29, and was sentenced October 31, 1990, to six years' imprisonment as an habitual felony offender. 1 On appeal, he argued that his sentence was illegal because prior to entry of his plea the State failed to serve written notice of intent to habitualize. The district court affirmed, but certified conflict with Inmon, wherein the court indicated pre-plea notice is required for habitualization.

Ashley argues that notice is required prior to acceptance of a guilty or nolo plea under both Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.172 and the habitual offender statute, section 775.084, Florida Statutes (1989). Failure to provide notice, he contends, violates the plain language of rule 3.172(c)(1), which requires that the defendant understand the "maximum possible penalty provided by law" before the court may accept his or her plea. Further, to read the habitual offender statute as the district court and State propose, i.e., that notice prior to entry of a plea is unnecessary as long as sufficient notice is given prior to sentencing, effectively strikes the words "prior to entry of a plea" from the statute. The State counters that no notice is required under the rule since habitualization is a collateral, not direct, consequence of the plea. The State also posits that the express purpose of the notice provision of the statute is to give the defendant time to prepare an argument against habitualization

Page 488

and as long as sufficient notice is given prior to sentencing this purpose is fulfilled. We disagree.

In Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 242, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969), the United States Supreme Court noted that "[a] plea of guilty is more than a confession which admits that the accused did various acts; it is itself a conviction; nothing remains but to give judgment and determine punishment." A number of important federal rights are implicated in the plea process:

Several federal constitutional rights are involved in a waiver that takes place when a plea of guilty is entered in a state criminal trial. First, is the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment and applicable to the States by reason of the Fourteenth. Second, is the right to trial by jury. Third, is the right to confront one's accusers. We cannot presume a waiver of these three important federal rights....

Id. 395 U.S. at 243, 89 S.Ct. at 1712 (citations omitted). Before a trial judge can accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, there must be "an affirmative showing that it was intelligent and voluntary," id. at 242, 89 S.Ct. at 1711, for "[w]hat is at stake for an accused facing death or imprisonment demands the utmost solicitude of which courts are capable in canvassing the matter with the accused to make sure he has a full understanding of what the plea connotes and of its consequence." Id. at 243-44, 89 S.Ct. at 1712.

In keeping with Boykin, this Court has ruled that in order for a plea to be knowing and intelligent the defendant must understand the reasonable consequences of the plea, including the maximum penalty that may be imposed:

Second, a defendant must understand the nature of the charge and the consequences of his plea. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that he knows what particular act he has committed, what law he has violated, and what maximum penalty may be imposed for the offense with which he is charged.

Williams v. State, 316 So.2d 267, 271 (Fla.1975). See also Koenig v. State, 597 So.2d 256 (Fla.1992). This ruling was memorialized two years later in rule 3.172, which now reads:

[3.172] (a) Voluntariness; Factual Basis. Before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere the trial judge shall be satisfied that the plea is voluntarily entered and that there is a factual basis for it. Counsel for the prosecution and the defense shall assist the trial judge in this function.

....

(c) Determination of Voluntariness. Except when a defendant is not present for a plea ... the trial judge should, when determining voluntariness, place the defendant under oath and shall address the defendant personally and shall determine that he or she understands:

(1) the nature of the charge to which the plea is offered, the mandatory minimum penalty provided by law, if any, and the maximum possible penalty provided by law....

In re Amendments to the Fla. Rules of Criminal Procedure, 606 So.2d 227, 263 (Fla.1992). Accordingly, before a court may accept a guilty or nolo plea it must determine on the record that the defendant is aware of the "maximum possible penalty provided by law" that may be imposed for the crime.

Maximum penalties for most felonies are determined according to the sentencing guidelines, which establish recommended (and now, permitted) ranges of punishment. See Sec. 921.001, Fla.Stat. (1989); Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.701. A court may depart from these ranges only under exceptional circumstances, with adequate legal justification. Id. Both guidelines maximums and departure sentences are themselves superceded by statutory maximums, which cannot be exceeded. 2 As a general rule, guidelines maximums fall short of statutory maximums.

Page 489

As an alternative to guidelines sentencing, a court may impose an enhanced sentence pursuant to the habitual offender statute in those cases where the defendant meets certain requirements concerning prior convictions. See Sec. 775.084, Fla.Stat. (1989). Maximum sentences under this statute are roughly double the standard statutory maximums. 3 In addition to...

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192 practice notes
  • Dickey v. State, Case No. 1D03-2489 (FL 2/15/2005), Case No. 1D03-2489.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 15, 2005
    ...that habitualization could affect the possibility of early release. See State v. Wilson, 658 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 1995); Ashley v. State, 614 So. 2d 486, 490 n. 8 (Fla. Nonetheless, despite the fact that failure to advise as to collateral consequences cannot constitute ineffective assistance of......
  • Davis v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., Case No. 3:15-cv-314-J-32JRK
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • April 5, 2019
    ...State did not timely file its notice of intent to classify him as an HFO prior to the entry of his plea as required by Ashley v. State, 614 So. 2d 486 (Fla. 1993), he is entitled to withdraw his plea.This Court finds the instant argument to be utterly without merit. First, on direct appeal,......
  • Obando v. Jones, CASE NO. 14-CIV-21606-MORENO
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • June 16, 2015
    ...entry of guilty plea or imposition of sentence. §775.084, Fla.Stat; see, also, State v. Blackwell, 661 So.2d 282 (1995); Ashley v. State, 614 So.2d 486 (1993); Massey v. State, 589 So.2d 336 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). Florida's statutory written notice requirement of the State's intent to habitua......
  • Martin v. Reinstein, No. 1 CA-SA 98-0260.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • May 13, 1999
    ...contingent possibilities can be a direct consequence of a plea, in a context quite similar to the case now before us, is Ashley v. State, 614 So.2d 486 (Fla.1993). There the state sought to impose the sentence-enhancing provisions of a habitual offender act upon a defendant who had pled gui......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
192 cases
  • Dickey v. State, Case No. 1D03-2489 (FL 2/15/2005), Case No. 1D03-2489.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • February 15, 2005
    ...that habitualization could affect the possibility of early release. See State v. Wilson, 658 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 1995); Ashley v. State, 614 So. 2d 486, 490 n. 8 (Fla. Nonetheless, despite the fact that failure to advise as to collateral consequences cannot constitute ineffective assistance of......
  • Davis v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., Case No. 3:15-cv-314-J-32JRK
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • April 5, 2019
    ...State did not timely file its notice of intent to classify him as an HFO prior to the entry of his plea as required by Ashley v. State, 614 So. 2d 486 (Fla. 1993), he is entitled to withdraw his plea.This Court finds the instant argument to be utterly without merit. First, on direct appeal,......
  • Obando v. Jones, CASE NO. 14-CIV-21606-MORENO
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • June 16, 2015
    ...entry of guilty plea or imposition of sentence. §775.084, Fla.Stat; see, also, State v. Blackwell, 661 So.2d 282 (1995); Ashley v. State, 614 So.2d 486 (1993); Massey v. State, 589 So.2d 336 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991). Florida's statutory written notice requirement of the State's intent to habitua......
  • Martin v. Reinstein, No. 1 CA-SA 98-0260.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • May 13, 1999
    ...contingent possibilities can be a direct consequence of a plea, in a context quite similar to the case now before us, is Ashley v. State, 614 So.2d 486 (Fla.1993). There the state sought to impose the sentence-enhancing provisions of a habitual offender act upon a defendant who had pled gui......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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