Musgrove v. State, BR-331

Citation524 So.2d 715,13 Fla. L. Weekly 1079
Decision Date06 May 1988
Docket NumberNo. BR-331,BR-331
Parties13 Fla. L. Weekly 1079 James A. MUSGROVE, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)

Michael E. Allen, Public Defender, David A. Davis, Asst. Public Defender, Tallahassee, for appellant.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., and Norma J. Mungenast, Asst. Atty. General, Tallahassee, for appellee.


In this appeal of a sentence more lengthy than the presumptive sentence under the sentencing guidelines, the appellant contends, first, that the reasons given by the trial court for imposing a departure sentence were not clear and convincing and, second, that the extent of the departure sentence imposed is excessive. We agree with appellant's first contention, and thus need not reach the second. We reverse and remand.

The trial court's written statement of reasons for departure provides:

The Defendant has a substantial juvenile record involving theft and burglary offenses which are not scored on the guidelines score sheet. Upon a review of the Defendant's entire record, including his juvenile record, the Court is convinced that the Defendant possesses a propensity toward theft and burglary and is a menace to society.

We find that this statement sets forth two separate reasons for departure, the first being the appellant's unscored juvenile record and the second being that his propensity to commit crimes makes him a menace to society. The second reason is clearly invalid. Arguably, all repeat offenders possess a "propensity" to commit crimes, and it is well settled that such findings as "utter disregard for the law" and "menace to society" are not valid reasons for imposition of a departure sentence where the only evidence to support the findings is the defendant's prior record. See, e.g., Keys v. State, 500 So.2d 134 (Fla.1986); Williams v. State, 492 So.2d 1308 (Fla.1986).

The fact that a defendant's record reflects the commission of offenses which cannot be scored because the offenses were committed when the defendant was a juvenile may, of course, be a valid reason for departure under our Supreme Court's rulings in Weems v. State, 469 So.2d 128 (Fla.1985) and Williams v. State, 504 So.2d 392 (Fla.1987). However, unscored juvenile record may be properly considered as a basis for departure only if the juvenile record is extensive, and only if the juvenile offenses were disposed of by adjudications equivalent to conviction of an adult. Weems v. State; Walker v. State, 519 So.2d 1105 (Fla. 3rd D.C.A. 1988); Carter v. State, 510 So.2d 930 (Fla. 5th D.C.A. 1987); Jones v. State, 501 So.2d 665 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1987); ...

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  • Liggett Group, Inc. v. Engle
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 21, 2003
    ... ... Florida State Hosp., 89 F.3d 1562, 1566 (11th Cir.1996) ...         In 1996, this Court affirmed as ... ...
  • Morgan v. State, 88-1196
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • October 17, 1989
    ...may provide sufficient reason for departure from the guidelines, Williams v. State, 504 So.2d 392 (Fla.1987); Musgrove v. State, 524 So.2d 715 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988), but three prior juvenile convictions are insufficient to support departure. Blue v. State, 541 So.2d 736 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); M......
  • State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Brewer
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • May 4, 2016
  • Crocker v. State, 89-1555
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • October 18, 1990
    ...sentence. Morgan v. State, 550 So.2d 151 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989); Blue v. State, 541 So.2d 736 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989); Musgrove v. State, 524 So.2d 715 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988). These courts have concluded that in order to justify a departure sentence a defendant's unscored juvenile record must be "exte......
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