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