FLORIDA LAW WEEKLY SEX CRIMES EDITION BY DENNIS NICEWANDER Vol. 32, No. 14, April 6, 2007 State v. Calderon, 32 Fla. L. Weekly D808 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2007): Amendment to the limitations statute for felonies resulting in death, which altered the limitations period from four years to provide that prosecution could be commenced at any time, applied retroactively to defendant's first degree conspiracy to commit murder charge; amended statute stated that it applied “to pending cases the prosecution of which has not been barred” prior to the enactment date of amendment, defendant had committed his crimes prior to the enactment of amended statute and charges against defendant were not time-barred when amended statute went into effect, and amended statute did not only apply to cases in which charges were already filed. Discussion: This is not a sex offense, but the language discussed is similar to the language used in the DNA extension in the statute of limitations statute. 775.15(15)(b). The general rule is that we have to apply the statute of limitations that existed at the time of the offense. When the above language is written into the statute, however, we can apply the new statute of limitations as long as the old statute had not expired at the time of the amendment. Roebuck v. State, 32 Fla. L. Weekly D847 (Fla. 1st DCA 2007): Evidence that child victim had previously falsely accused her brother of physical abuse was not admissible in prosecution for lewd and lascivious battery; plain language of statute authorized impeachment of witness with only prior convictions and there was no “false reporting” exception written into or considered by statute, previous false accusation did not involve defendant, false report concerned dissimilar crime, proffered evidence did not establish a motive on victim's part to lie about charged offense, and evidence could not be admitted based on witness's character since victim's character was not essential element of defense or charge. Bramberg v. State, 32 Fla. L. Weekly D858 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007): Search of defendant's residence by law enforcement officers pursuant to condition of defendant's probation that allowed warrantless searches was not rendered unreasonable under Fourth Amendment by investigatory, as opposed to supervisory, purpose of search, given that officers had reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Discussion: This is a very important case for probation cases. The general rule has been that if evidence is obtained pursuant to a probation search, it can only be used for a violation of probation, but it cannot be used to support a new criminal charge. This case presents a new twist to this law. Relying on the recent Supreme Court decision of U.S. v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112 (2001), the court ruled that if the probation order says that law enforcement can search the probationers residence, and the police officers have reasonable suspicion of illegal conduct, the police officers can conduct a warrantless search even though the probation officer is not present. The defendant has a diminished expectation of privacy that allows a search with less than probable cause. Robles v. State, 32 Fla. L. Weekly D869 (Fla. 5th DCA 2007): Trial court that imposed eight-year sentence for sexual battery could add 80 points to defendant's sentencing scoresheet for sexual penetration, even absent a specific jury finding of penetration; additional points increased the minimum possible sentence, but did not affect the statutory maximum of 15 years, so as to implicate Apprendi and Blakely.
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