Weems v. State, 65593

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Citation469 So.2d 128,10 Fla. L. Weekly 268
Docket NumberNo. 65593,65593
Parties10 Fla. L. Weekly 268 Isaac WEEMS, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Decision Date09 May 1985

James Marion Moorman, Public Defender and Deborah K. Brueckheimer, Asst. Public Defender, Tenth Judicial Circuit, Clearwater, for petitioner.

Jim Smith, Atty. Gen., and James H. Dysart, Asst. Atty. Gen., Tampa, for respondent.

ALDERMAN, Justice.

We review the decision of the District Court of Appeal, Second District, in Weems v. State, 451 So.2d 1027 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984), which expressly and directly conflicts with the Fourth District's decision in Harvey v. State, 450 So.2d 926 (Fla. 4th DCA 1984).

This is a sentencing guidelines case. The issue before us is whether Weems' extensive juvenile record, which could not be considered in calculating the applicable sentencing range because the juvenile dispositions were over three years old, could be considered by the trial court as a reason for departing from the sentencing guidelines. The district court held that his juvenile record could be considered as a basis for departing from the guidelines. We agree and approve the decision of the Second District.

Weems pled guilty to burglary of a structure, battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest without violence. The crimes were committed on September 3, 1983, but sentencing occurred after the effective date of the statewide sentencing guidelines. Weems, pursuant to section 921.001(4)(a), Florida Statutes (1983), chose to be sentenced under the guidelines. The recommended sentence under the guidelines was "any nonstate prison sanction." The trial court, however, departed from the guidelines and gave as its reason for departure that had Weems been scored under burglary, he would fall into the twelve-to-thirty month guidelines range, that Weems has been to state prison twice before for burglary, that this is his eleventh burglary although "we can only 'count' two," and that it is apparent that Weems cannot make it on probation since he violated his last probation and his last parole. The trial court attached to the guidelines form a record of Weems' prior offenses, including thirteen juvenile dispositions that were the equivalent of convictions had he been an adult when they were committed. The court imposed concurrent two-year sentences for the two felonies and a concurrent six-month sentence for resisting arrest without violence.

Weems appealed to the Second District and contended that the court erred in relying upon his juvenile record as a basis for departing from the guidelines. The Second District disagreed with Weems' assertion and affirmed. It concluded that the reasons stated by the trial court constituted an adequate basis for sentencing Weems above the recommended range and held that just because this juvenile record could not be used in calculating the applicable sentencing range, does not mean that it cannot be considered as a reason for departing from the guidelines.

Weems relies on Harvey v. State to support his argument that the previous juvenile dispositions cannot be considered as a valid reason for departing from the guidelines. He contends that Harvey holds that past criminal conduct which cannot be considered in computing the score sheet cannot be relied upon as justification for departure from the guidelines. To the extent that the Fourth District's overbroad language in Harvey appears to hold that a trial judge cannot consider convictions which are not scored in the guidelines because those convictions are remote in time, we disagree. To the extent, however, that Harvey holds that a judge cannot aggravate on the basis of prior arrests when there has been no finding of guilt, we agree.

It is true that Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.701(d)(5)(c) does exclude juvenile dispositions over three years old from the initial computation, but no part of the rule or the guidelines statute exclude such matters from being considered by the trial court as reasons for departing from the guidelines. Appellate review of the trial court's expressed reasons for departure provides a check against the trial court's abuse of discretion in departing from the guidelines.

The fact that Weems had a multitude of juvenile dispositions for previous burglaries was certainly material to the sentencing process and may be considered by the trial court in deciding on an appropriate sentence under the circumstances. The district court correctly concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in departing from the guidelines in this case.

Accordingly, we approve the decision of the District Court of Appeal, Second District. We disapprove Harvey to the extent that it is inconsistent with our present decision.

It is so ordered.

ADKINS, OVERTON, McDONALD, EHRLICH and...

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69 cases
  • Steiner v. State
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 21 Mayo 1985
    ...of any other particular consideration for which points have been already assigned or deliberately not assigned. 7 See e.g., Weems v. State, 469 So.2d 128 (Fla.1985); Whitehead v. State, 467 So.2d 779 (Fla. 1st DCA 1985) [10 FLW 973] (multiple crimes within five years not duplicative of habi......
  • Lumpkin v. State, 86-3058
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 11 Agosto 1987
    ...defendant was not charged or convicted. Thompson v. State, 493 So.2d 71 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986); Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.701(d)(11); cf. Weems v. State, 469 So.2d 128 (Fla.1985) (prior arrests without convictions are not a valid reason for departing from sentencing guidelines); Sellers v. State, 499 So......
  • Hester v. State
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 11 Marzo 1987
    ...reason (appellant's juvenile record), under certain circumstances, this is a clear and convincing reason for departure. Weems v. State, 469 So.2d 128 (Fla.1985). However, since we do not have the benefit of the PSI report, we will not address this In addition to its written reasons for depa......
  • Holloman v. State, 85-259
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 26 Diciembre 1985
    ...(Fla. 5th DCA 1984); Green v. State, 455 So.2d 586 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984); Weems v. State, 451 So.2d 1027 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984), approved, 469 So.2d 128 (Fla.1985).4 See Jackson v. State, 478 So.2d 1054 (Fla.1985).5 See Albritton v. State, 476 So.2d 158 ...
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