Gil v. State: SC11-1983: Florida Supreme Court Reverses Third DCA and Holds That Double Jeopardy Precludes DWLS and HTO Charges Arising From Same Incident
Florida’s criminal defense and criminal appeals attorneys who handle a lot a traffic offenses will be happy to know that the Florida Supreme Court has reversed the Third DCA in Gil v. State, SC11-1983, on an issue that occurs all too often. I’m sure you’ve seen it before: just as in Gil, your client gets stopped for one reason or another, and during the stop, the officer determines that your client has been driving on a suspended license. As in Gil, your client will probably be charged with misdemeanor DWLS, under section 322.34(2). And if your client really lucky, he or she might also be charged as an Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) under section 322.34(5). Is that proper? Not anymore. According to the Supreme Court in Gil, because DWLS under section 322.34(2) is a degree variant of HTO under section 322.34(5), the State Attorney can no longer charge your client with offenses under both sections–assuming, of course, that the offenses both arise from the same incident.