State v. McEachern, 96-467

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Citation700 So.2d 1
Docket NumberNo. 96-467,96-467
Parties22 Fla. L. Weekly D323 STATE of Florida, Appellant, v. Michael Alan McEACHERN, Appellee.
Decision Date31 January 1997

COBB, Judge.

The appellee, Michael Alan McEachern, has filed a motion for rehearing en banc and/or certification. Upon further consideration, we sua sponte withdraw our opinion in this case under date of November 15, 1996, and substitute therefor the following:

The trial judge, following a nolo plea by McEachern to various charges, sentenced him to 44.25 months incarceration suspended upon successful completion of two years community control including successful completion of a residential drug/alcohol rehabilitation program, followed by three years of supervised probation. The sentence imposed by the trial court does not conform to the sentence categories enunciated by the Florida Supreme Court in Poore v. State, 531 So.2d 161 (Fla.1988). We have previously held this type of pure suspended sentence to be illegal. See State v. Davis, 657 So.2d 1224 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995); State v. Conte, 650 So.2d 192 (Fla. 5th DCA), review denied, 659 So.2d 270 (Fla.1995); State v. Manning, 605 So.2d 508 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992); Bryant v. State, 591 So.2d 1102 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992); and Pinardi v. State, 617 So.2d 371 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993). We recognize that the First and Second Districts have held that a sentence of imprisonment which is entirely suspended is authorized as a true split sentence under Poore. See, e.g., Helton v. State, 611 So.2d 1323 (Fla. 1st DCA 1993); Silva v. State, 602 So.2d 694 (Fla. 2d DCA 1992). See also Jefferson v. State, 677 So.2d 29 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996); Lee v. State, 666 So.2d 209 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995).

The Florida Supreme Court has recently issued two opinions concerning the definition of the term "illegal sentence." See Davis v. State, 661 So.2d 1193 (Fla.1995) and State v. Callaway, 658 So.2d 983 (Fla.1995). Both cases dealt with Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800, the relevant portion of which provides that a court may at any time correct an illegal sentence imposed by it.

In Davis, the supreme court, in considering the type of illegal sentence remediable under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a) announced as follows:

[A]n illegal sentence is one that exceeds the maximum period set forth by law for a particular offense without regard to the guidelines.

661 So.2d at 1196.

The court in Callaway recognized three types of sentencing errors: (1) an "erroneous sentence" which is correctable on direct appeal; (2) an "unlawful sentence" which is correctable only after an evidentiary hearing under Rule 3.850; and (3) an "illegal sentence" in which the error must be corrected as a matter of law in a Rule 3.800 proceeding. Callaway, 658 So.2d at 987-988.

The defendant asserts that because his sentence does not exceed the maximum allowable by law, under Davis and Callaway it is not an "illegal sentence." However, under the precedent from this district, the sentence is an "unauthorized sentence" under the principles set out in Poore.

Recently, in King v. State, 681 So.2d 1136 (Fla.1996), the supreme court discussed the efficacy of a hybrid split sentence which consisted of incarceration without habitual offender status followed by probation as a habitual offender. While noting that such a sentence is not authorized by section 775.084, Florida Statutes, and in fact is inconsistent with the language of that statute, the supreme court, citing Davis held that such an unauthorized sentence is not an illegal sentence so long as the total sentence does not exceed the statutory maximum for the particular offense at issue.

The supreme court, noting that in the conflict case with King (Davis v. State, 623 So.2d 547 (Fla. 2d DCA 1993)), the hybrid split sentence had apparently been agreed to as part of a negotiated plea agreement, explained as follows:

While a trial court cannot impose an illegal sentence pursuant to a plea bargain, Williams v. State, 500 So.2d 501, 503 (Fla.1986), it can impose a negotiated sentence that is not specifically authorized by statute. Cf. Quarterman v. State, 527 So.2d 1380, 1382 (Fla.1988)(finding that defendant's violation of plea agreement condition that he appear at sentencing was clear and convincing reason for departure sentence even though failure to appear for sentencing in an of itself was not valid reason for departure). This distinction between an unauthorized and an illegal sentence does not change the result for King: absent a valid agreement to the contrary, the judge had no authority to impose this hybrid sentence and it must be reversed. However, we distinguish those instances where a defendant agrees to such a sentence as part of an otherwise valid plea agreement and the negotiated sentence does not exceed the statutory maximum for the particular offense involved.

There is no mention of Poore in the King decision. But, in any event, we find that King is inapplicable to the instant case...

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4 cases
  • State v. Hewitt, 96-4562
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • December 23, 1997
    ...sentences under rule 9.140(c)(1)(J). See Amendments to Fla. Rules of App. P., 685 So.2d 773, 776 (Fla.1996). And see State v. McEachern, 700 So.2d 1 (Fla. 5th DCA) (on reh'g) (state may appeal sentences which are unauthorized by statute), quashed on other grounds, 701 So.2d 865 Our task in ......
  • State v. Powell, 89964
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 20, 1997
    ...a mandatory list of "five basic sentencing alternatives" in Poore v. State, 531 So.2d 161, 164 (Fla.1988). See, e.g., State v. McEachern, [700 So.2d 1] 22 Fla.L.Weekly D323 (Fla. 5th DCA Jan. 31, 1997). Because Poore describes a true split sentence as a "total period of confinement with a p......
  • State v. Kennedy, 96-4177
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • August 20, 1997
    ...downward departure since it did not sentence him as an habitual felony offender. See King, 681 So.2d at 1140. See also State v. McEachern, 700 So.2d 1 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997) (the State can appeal a sentence that is not authorized under the sentencing guidelines). The trial court did not provid......
  • McEachern v. State, 89859
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • November 20, 1997
    ...and Ann M. Childs, Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for Respondent. SHAW, Justice. We have for review State v. McEachern, 700 So.2d 1 (Fla. 5th DCA 1997), wherein the court certified the following IS A SENTENCE ENTIRELY SUSPENDED ON THE CONDITION THAT THE DEFENDANT SUCCESSFULLY CO......

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