State v. Deferance, 4D00-4663.

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Citation807 So.2d 806
Docket NumberNo. 4D00-4663.,4D00-4663.
PartiesSTATE of Florida, Appellant, v. Maria DEFERANCE, Appellee.
Decision Date27 February 2002

807 So.2d 806

STATE of Florida, Appellant,
Maria DEFERANCE, Appellee

No. 4D00-4663.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District.

February 27, 2002.

807 So.2d 807
Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Andrea D. England, Assistant Attorney General, Fort Lauderdale, for appellant

Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and David John McPherrin, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellee.


Maria Deferance, a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a traffic infraction, was charged with possession of cocaine after the police found cocaine in the car and, subsequently, on her person. Deferance filed a motion to suppress the physical evidence obtained and an incriminating statement she made at the scene. The trial court granted the motion to suppress, and the State appeals. We reverse and remand for additional findings.

The trial court granted the motion to suppress on the ground that the police, after arresting the driver, had no right to search the vehicle. Deferance correctly concedes on appeal that the trial judge erred in concluding that the officers did not have the right to search the stopped vehicle after the driver's arrest. See New York v. Belton, 453 U.S. 454, 460, 101 S.Ct. 2860, 69 L.Ed.2d 768 (1981); State v. Brooks, 744 So.2d 598, 600 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999)(finding that the search of defendant's vehicle was justified under Belton after he was stopped for having an expired tag and then validly arrested based on an outstanding warrant for his arrest). Despite this concession of error, Deferance urges this court to conclude that the search was otherwise illegal, and that the trial judge was simply right for the wrong reason. The State, however, invites this court to review the evidence and find that the search was proper.

We are unable to properly determine the legality of the search on the record as it presently exists. Because the trial judge ruled that the initial search of the vehicle was improper, the trial judge did not make factual findings on other issues critical to the validity of the search. As our supreme court noted in State v. Glatzmayer, 789 So.2d 297 (Fla.2001):

Suppression issues are extraordinarily rich in diversity and run the gamut from (1) pure questions of fact, to (2) mixed questions of law and fact, to (3) pure questions of law. Reviewing courts must exercise care when examining such issues, for while the issues themselves may be posed in broad legal terms (e.g.,

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7 cases
  • Hicks v. State, No. 2D04-2640.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 27 Enero 2006
    ...v. Cooper, 203 F.3d 1279, 1284 (11th Cir.2000). It should be addressed in the first instance by the trial judge. See State v. Deferance, 807 So.2d 806 (Fla. 4th DCA Here, the State assumed the initial burden of proof at the hearing, ostensibly waiving its right to challenge Hicks on the thr......
  • State v. Bell, No. 2D03-1923.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 12 Mayo 2004
    ...suspicion to stop Bell. See United States v. Arvizu, 534 U.S. 266, 273, 122 S.Ct. 744, 151 L.Ed.2d 740 (2002); State v. Deferance, 807 So.2d 806 (Fla. 4th DCA We also note that it is not clear to this court whether the trial court has actually decided that the alligators were seized "as a r......
  • Lynn v. Feldmeth, No. 2D02-3760.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 18 Julio 2003
    ...and purpose of the stipulation in the first instance, which is contrary to our function as a reviewing court. See State v. Deferance, 807 So.2d 806 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002); Commercial Union Ins. Co. v. Velazquez, 464 So.2d 210 (Fla. 3d DCA Reversed and remanded for further proceedings. WHATLEY ......
  • State v. Soloman, No. 2D08-1250.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 11 Marzo 2009
    ...1st DCA 1987). This issue involves mixed questions of fact and law and should be first addressed by the trial court. State v. Deferance, 807 So.2d 806, 808 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002); see Wright v. State, 766 So.2d 467 (Fla. 1st 6 So.3d 662 DCA 2000) (where trial court failed to address whether ap......
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