In case you haven’t noticed, the Florida Supreme Court amended the Rules of Criminal Procedure today, October 18, 2012. You can view the amendments by clicking here. The amendments aren’t too long to read through– only 17 pages, so you may want to take a look. Otherwise, the highlights are as follows:
Rule 3.191(h) (Speedy Trial): Amended to clarify when a notice of expiration of time for speedy trial is timely filed and served. By striking the phrase “on or”
from the portion of the rule providing “on or after the expiration of the periods of time for trial provided in this rule,” the rule clarifies that only after the expiration of time for speedy trial is a notification of such an event timely filed.
Rule 3.220(h)(1) (Discovery Depositions): Amended to reflect that upon application, either a pro se litigant or an attorney for either party may have the court or clerk issue subpoenas.
Rule 3.410 (Jury Request to Review Evidence or for Additional Instructions): Amended in two respects. (1) The Rule now permits the playback of digital recordings of trial testimony. (2) The rule is amended to allow the trial court, in its discretion, to respond in writing to a juror’s question rather than bringing the jury back into the courtroom in order for the trial judge to orally respond to the question. (Cautionary note to criminal trial attorneys regarding this amendment: if the Judge in your case decides to answer the juror’s question in writing, be sure to make a record of the Judge’s written answer for any appeal. I suggest either asking the Judge to read his or her written answer into the record before the written answer is given to the juror, or– even better–ask the Judge for a copy of the written answer to be entered into the record as a defense exhibit. You never know when an issue could pop up in a future appeal!)
Rule 3.800(a) (Correction, Reduction, and Modification of Sentences—Correction): Amended to clarify that a defendant may seek correction of an allegedly erroneous sexual predator designation under the rule, but only when it is apparent from the face of the record that the defendant did not meet the criteria for designation as a sexual predator. This amendment is consistent with the Court’s ruling in Saintelien v. State, 990 So. 2d 494, 497 (Fla. 2008).