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Defendant Contends Court Lacks Jurisdiction

In this criminal case, appellant was informed against in the Criminal Court of Record of West Palm Beach County for grand larceny. A New York Criminal Lawyer said that, he was arraigned on the information and entered a plea of not guilty. At the beginning of the trial, which was held before the trial judge without a jury, the county solicitor made the announcement in open court and said that: ‘In this case, the State is going to attempt to prove petit larceny and not grand larceny.’ A West Palm Beach Petit Larceny Lawyer said that, after this announcement the county solicitor submitted evidence to prove that the charge contained in the information constituted petit larceny; and the trial court found the defendant to be guilty of petit larceny. Thereafter, a judgment of conviction was rendered and the defendant, as a result, appealed to this Court.

A Nassau County Criminal Lawyer said that, the Attorney General has moved to dismiss the appeal on the ground that the court is without jurisdiction to entertain an appeal for a misdemeanor conviction. A West Palm Beach Grand Larceny Lawyer said that, the defendant contends that inasmuch as the information upon which the defendant was arraigned charged a felony this Court has jurisdiction of the appeal.

The issue in this case is whether the appeal of the appellant should be dismissed on the ground that the court is without jurisdiction to entertain an appeal for a misdemeanor conviction.
The Court in deciding the case cited the provisions of Section 11 of Article V of the Constitution of Florida, F.S.A., provides that ‘The Circuit Courts shall have final appellate jurisdiction of all misdemeanors tried in Criminal Courts.’ The Court has its opinion that in view of the announcement made by the county solicitor at the threshold of the trial, the present case was a misdemeanor tried in the Criminal Court, within the purview of section 11 of Article V.

The Court said that, had the information upon which the defendant was arraigned charged in two separate counts the commission of a felony and a misdemeanor, respectively, there could have been no doubt of the right of the county solicitor to elect to dismiss as to the felony and proceed to trial on the misdemeanor. And, in such case, there could have been no question that an appeal by the defendant from a judgment rendered on the misdemeanor count would have been to the Circuit Court of West Palm Beach County.

The Court held that, in principle, this Court can see no difference between such a situation and the one involved here, wherein the county solicitor announced that he was electing to try the defendant on the misdemeanor charge comprehended within the felony charged, and not for the felony. It follows from the conclusion reached that the motion to dismiss the appeal should be granted and the appeal dismissed. It is so ordered. Accordingly, the Court held that the motion of the appellees to dismiss the appeal is granted, and the appeal is hereby dismissed.

The Constitution of Florida provides that, ‘The Circuit Courts shall have final appellate jurisdiction of all misdemeanors tried in Criminal Courts. If you are involved in a similar situation in the case at bar, such as you have an appeal for misdemeanor convictions for crimes such as petit larceny or grand larceny, you will need the assistance of a West Palm Beach Petit Larceny Attorney and West Palm Beach Grand Larceny Attorney in order to assist you in the filing of your appeal. Without the help of a West Palm Beach Shoplifting Defense Attorney, you will lose your right to appeal, and probably lose your case. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, we have competent and reliable lawyers who can help, whether you have been charged with sex crimes, theft or drug possession, and make sure that they will exhaust all the possible grounds that your case may have for an appeal.