Franquiz v. State

Decision Date10 October 1996
Docket Number86558,Nos. 85960,s. 85960
Citation682 So.2d 536
Parties21 Fla. L. Weekly S432 Henry FRANQUIZ, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent. Alberto DELGADILLO, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Bennett H. Brummer, Public Defender and Julie M. Levitt, Assistant Public Defender, Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami, on behalf of Franquiz; and Bruce A. Alter, Miami, on behalf of Delgadillo, for Petitioners.

Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General; and Mark C. Katzef and Michael J. Neimand, Assistant Attorneys General, Miami, for Respondent.

WELLS, Justice.

We granted review of State v. Franquiz, 654 So.2d 1068 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995), and State v. Delgadillo, 659 So.2d 1264 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995), and consolidated those cases, which the Third District Court of Appeal certified to be in conflict with Schiffer v. State, 617 So.2d 357 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993), State v. Hogan, 611 So.2d 78 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992), and State v. Glover, 634 So.2d 247 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994). We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(4), Fla. Const.

Franquiz was charged in 1992 with three counts of sexual battery, one count of kidnapping, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm while engaged in a criminal offense. He pled guilty to all three charges, and pursuant to a plea agreement, the court placed him on community control for six months to be followed by probation for ten years. The sentence was a departure from the recommended prison sentence of seventeen to twenty-two years and permitted prison sentence of twelve to twenty-seven years. In 1994, Franquiz was charged with violating a term of his community control by failing to remain confined to his residence and by contacting the victim. The revised sentencing guidelines recommended a prison sentence of twenty-seven years and a permitted sentence of seventeen to forty years. The court sentenced Franquiz to ten years in prison and gave no written reasons for the downward departure.

Similarly, Delgadillo pled no contest to charges against him in exchange for a downward departure sentence of five years' probation and withholding of adjudication. He was subsequently charged with violating his probation and received a sentence of six months in county jail and five years' probation. The court provided no written reasons for the downward departure from the sentencing guidelines.

In both cases the State appealed, arguing that the trial court was required to submit written reasons for the downward departure. The Third District Court of Appeal reversed both cases based on State v. Zlockower, 650 So.2d 692 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995), in which the district court held that a trial court must provide contemporaneous written reasons for entering a downward departure at the time of modification of probation. In both Franquiz and Delgadillo, the Third District certified the same direct conflict it had earlier certified in Zlockower. 1 The instant cases, as well as Zlockower, directly conflict with the Fourth and Fifth District decisions in State v. Glover, 634 So.2d 247 (Fla. 5th DCA 1994), Schiffer v. State, 617 So.2d 357 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993), and State v. Hogan, 611 So.2d 78 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992), in which the district courts allowed downward departure sentences without written reasons upon revocation of probation or community control. We have accepted jurisdiction to determine whether written reasons are required for a downward departure disposition upon revocation of probation or community control in instances in which the initial placement on probation or community control was a downward departure based upon a plea agreement.

Initially, we must decide whether an initial downward departure sentence is always, never, or sometimes a reason for the trial court's subsequent downward departure in sentencing for a revocation of the initial sentence. If an initial downward placement was always a valid reason for the downward departure of a revocation sentence, then written reasons for a revocation downward departure would be unnecessary. This appears to be the reasoning of the Fourth and Fifth Districts in Schiffer, Hogan, and Glover. However, we do not agree that an initial downward departure is always a valid reason for a downward departure in sentencing for a revocation even when based upon a plea agreement in the original sentencing. Neither do we find that an initial agreed-upon downward departure can never be a valid reason for a revocation downward departure. Rather, we approve the holdings in State v. Nickerson, 541 So.2d 725 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989), and State v. Devine, 512 So.2d 1163 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987), that a trial court may consider the State's prior agreement for a downward departure as a factor during resentencing.

Therefore, a prior downward departure is sometimes a factor but never a guarantee for a subsequent downward departure by a trial court, which must explain in writing why the departure was a factor. In State v. Jackson, 478 So.2d 1054, 1055 (Fla.1985), we set forth our general rationale for requiring departure sentences to be in writing. First, appellate courts should not have to guess a trial judge's reasons for sentencing or delve through the underlying record to locate a trial court's reasons for sentencing decisions. Second, written reasons provide a "more precise, thoughtful, and meaningful review which ultimately will result in the development of better law." 2 The requirement of written reasons for guideline departures pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.701(d)(11) is especially important in the often complex scenarios of revocation sentencing decisions. A written record eliminates the potential for confusion when there are multiple departure sentences. A full and accurate record of a revocation sentencing is required to prevent misunderstanding. The record may be in the form of either a recorded plea agreement by the State and a defendant or a written list of reasons from a trial court.

Therefore, we hold that a trial court must determine and state in writing, based upon all the circumstances through the date of the revocation sentencing, whether valid reasons exist for a downward departure from a guideline sentence for a revocation. The written reasons should describe why the court has or has not found the State's prior...

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27 cases
  • Shine v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • June 13, 2019
    ...LUCK, J., recused.1 Shine also argued that the Third District's decision below expressly and directly conflicts with Franquiz v. State , 682 So. 2d 536 (Fla. 1996), on the issue of whether a prior downward departure based on a legitimate, uncoerced plea agreement is a valid reason to depart......
  • State v. Cure, 99-2550.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 31, 2000
    ...plea. In these circumstances, it is well settled that the court is free to make an even greater downward departure. See Franquiz v. State, 682 So.2d 536 (Fla.1996); State v. Devine, 512 So.2d 1163 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987), review denied, 519 So.2d 988 (Fla.1987); State v. Collins, 482 So.2d 388 ......
  • State v. Fernandez, 3D04-3063.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • February 22, 2006
    ...of law and fact and will be sustained on review . . . if competent substantial evidence supports its ruling.). See Franquiz v. State, 682 So.2d 536, 538 (Fla. 1996) ("a trial court must determine and state in writing . . . whether valid reasons exist for a downward departure from a guidelin......
  • Perry v. State, 5D99-320.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • October 6, 2000
    ...he could receive an above-guidelines sentence equal to the probation portion of his split sentence. See also Franquiz v. State, 682 So.2d 536, 538, n. 3 (Fla.1996) (if there is a plea agreement as to sentencing upon revocation, then failure to give written reasons for departure will not aff......
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