The Second and Fourth District Courts of Appeal have started off the New Year with a couple of opinions that Florida’s criminal defense and criminal appeals attorneys should take a minute to read.
In the first opinion, Peterson v. State, No. 2D11-5083, the Court held that a vehicle’s air bag control system report was properly admitted into evidence at trial because the report is not testimonial. In short, because the Court determined that the report was non-testimonial, the court rejected Peterson’s contention that the admission of the report violated the Confrontation Clause. In so holding, the Court reasoned that the air bag system report was analogous to a defendant’s driving record. Slip. op., pgs. 2-5 (citing Card v. State, 927 So. 2d 200 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006) and Pfleiger v. State, 952 So. 2d 1251 (Fla. 4th DCA 2007)).
Next, in Seymour v. State, No. 4D13-4649, the court entertained, and granted, Seymour’s emergency petition for writ of habeas corpus, wherein Seymour asked the Court to reverse the trial court’s decision to deny him bond after an Arthur hearing (State v. Arthur, 390 So. 2d 717, 718 (Fla. 1980)). The Court granted the petition, and ordered the trial court to set a reasonable bond for Seymour. This opinion is worth the few minutes it will take to read because opinions on bond issues don’t come up as often as criminal defense attorneys might like. And, since the Court took the time to review several other bond cases, the Seymour opinion might be a good one to keep handy.