J.B. v. State, No. 90309

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtOVERTON; In a pre-trial evidentiary hearing; In this proceeding; KOGAN, C.J., SHAW, HARDING, WELLS and ANSTEAD, JJ., and GRIMES
Citation705 So.2d 1376
Parties23 Fla. L. Weekly S44 J.B., a child, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 90309
Decision Date22 January 1998

Page 1376

705 So.2d 1376
23 Fla. L. Weekly S44
J.B., a child, Petitioner,
v.
STATE of Florida, Respondent.
No. 90309.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Jan. 22, 1998.

Page 1377

Nancy A. Daniels, Public Defender and Glen P. Gifford, Assistant Public Defender, Second Judicial Circuit, Tallahassee, for Petitioner.

Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General; James W. Rogers, Bureau Chief, Criminal Appeals, and Edward C. Hill, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Respondent.

OVERTON, Justice.

We have for review J.B. v. State, 689 So.2d 360 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997), which expressly and directly conflicts with Johnson v. State, 569 So.2d 872 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990), on the issue of whether the absence of independent proof of the corpus delicti is an issue that can be raised for the first time on appeal. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const. For the reasons expressed, we find that the issue must be raised at the trial court level to preserve it for appeal.

The record reflects the following relevant facts. On the evening of January 8, 1996, Officer Raymond White was in pursuit of a truck driven by J.B., a juvenile, and occupied by one other person, when two bottles flew out of the truck's passenger-side window. Once Officer White stopped J.B., a second officer arrived on the scene. The second officer retrieved the two discarded bottles and gave them to Officer White.

Prompted by the littering and the apparent contents of the bottles, Officer White read J.B. his Miranda 1 rights. In response to questioning, J.B. stated that he and the passenger had each possessed a "beer." After charging J.B. with underage possession of alcohol, Officer White disposed of the bottles.

In a pre-trial evidentiary hearing, J.B. successfully suppressed evidence regarding the type and content of the bottles seized by the officers because they had been discarded. Nonetheless, the court found J.B. guilty of possession of alcohol by a person under 21, withheld adjudication of delinquency, and placed him on juvenile community control.

On direct appeal to the First District Court of Appeal, J.B. argued that his conviction rested on an admission introduced in the absence of independent proof of the corpus delicti. The admission in question was J.B.'s statement to Officer White that he had been in possession of "beer." J.B. claimed that an independent corpus delicti establishing that J.B. had possessed a substance that was in fact alcoholic in nature had not been offered. The district court found that the issue had not been properly preserved for appeal because J.B. had allowed the admission into evidence without a contemporaneous objection. The district court further concluded that the introduction of the admission in the absence of independent proof of the corpus delicti did not constitute fundamental error so as to overcome the procedural bar.

We accepted review based on express and direct conflict with Johnson v. State, 569 So.2d 872 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990). In Johnson, the defendant was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to sell based on a confession that was admitted without the state's having established an independent corpus delicti. The Second District Court of Appeal concluded that, regardless of the lack of contemporaneous objection below, fundamental error occurs when a defendant's confession is

Page 1378

admitted without an independent corpus delicti being established. 2

In this proceeding, J.B. asks that we quash the district court's decision in this case and approve the district court's opinion in Johnson, finding the introduction of the admission into evidence in the absence of independent proof of the corpus delicti to be fundamental error. The State, on the other hand, not only asks...

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76 practice notes
  • Asay v. State, No. SC16–223
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • December 22, 2016
    ...to raise an error on appeal, a contemporaneous objection must be made at the trial level when the alleged error occurs. J.B. v. State , 705 So.2d 1376, 1378 (Fla. 1998). Only when an error is fundamental can it be raised on appeal in the absence of a contemporaneous objection. Crump v. Stat......
  • Brennan v. State, No. 90,279.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 8, 1999
    ...make contemporaneous objections at trial either to the trial court's comments or to Dr. Maples' testimony. See generally J.B. v. State, 705 So.2d 1376, 1378 (Fla.1998) (stating that except in cases involving fundamental errors, "to raise an error on appeal, a contemporaneous objection must ......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...360 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997) (en banc decision released by criminal division without antecedent publication of panel decision), approved by 705 So.2d 1376 (Fla.1998); Ganyard v. State, 686 Page 622 1361 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) (en banc decision released by criminal division without antecedent public......
  • Maddox v. State, No. SC92805
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 11, 2000
    ...fundamental error as error that "goes to the foundation of the case or the 760 So.2d 96 merits of the cause of action." J.B. v. State, 705 So.2d 1376, 1378 (Fla.1998); see State v. Smith, 240 So.2d 807, 810-11 (Fla. 1970); see also Gudinas v. State, 693 So.2d 953, 961 (Fla.1997) ("Fundament......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
76 cases
  • Asay v. State, No. SC16–223
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • December 22, 2016
    ...to raise an error on appeal, a contemporaneous objection must be made at the trial level when the alleged error occurs. J.B. v. State , 705 So.2d 1376, 1378 (Fla. 1998). Only when an error is fundamental can it be raised on appeal in the absence of a contemporaneous objection. Crump v. Stat......
  • Brennan v. State, No. 90,279.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • July 8, 1999
    ...make contemporaneous objections at trial either to the trial court's comments or to Dr. Maples' testimony. See generally J.B. v. State, 705 So.2d 1376, 1378 (Fla.1998) (stating that except in cases involving fundamental errors, "to raise an error on appeal, a contemporaneous objection must ......
  • Childers v. State, No. 1D03-2154.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 28, 2006
    ...360 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997) (en banc decision released by criminal division without antecedent publication of panel decision), approved by 705 So.2d 1376 (Fla.1998); Ganyard v. State, 686 Page 622 1361 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996) (en banc decision released by criminal division without antecedent public......
  • Maddox v. State, No. SC92805
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • May 11, 2000
    ...fundamental error as error that "goes to the foundation of the case or the 760 So.2d 96 merits of the cause of action." J.B. v. State, 705 So.2d 1376, 1378 (Fla.1998); see State v. Smith, 240 So.2d 807, 810-11 (Fla. 1970); see also Gudinas v. State, 693 So.2d 953, 961 (Fla.1997) ("Fundament......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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