DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA FOURTH DISTRICT STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellant, v. CHARLES MORRIS, Appellee. No. 4D19-1729 [June 3, 2020] Appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Ari Abraham Porth, Judge; L.T. Case No. 11- 12446CF10A. Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Joseph D. Coronato, Jr. Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellant. Brian F. Greenwald, Fort Lauderdale, appellee. WARNER, J. The State timely appeals the trial court’s dismissal without prejudice of the information filed against appellant. The trial court dismissed the case based on section 916.145, Florida Statutes (2019), due to continuous mental incompetence. Because a determination of appellee’s mental incompetence is presumed to continue until the court adjudicates him competent, appellee was presumed incompetent even when not in treatment. We therefore affirm. In 2011, appellee was arrested and charged with trafficking oxycodone, tampering with physical evidence, possession of cannabis, driving under the influence, and driving without a valid driver’s license. Following his arrest in 2012 and the filing of formal charges, appellee filed a motion to determine his competency to stand trial, which the court granted. On May 15, 2014, the trial court determined appellee was incompetent to proceed due to mental illness. A few months later, appellee was released on the conditions that he would, among other things, remain in community-based treatment, not change his address without permission of the court, and not leave the treatment program without proper authorization. Despite this, he left the area. In April 2016, the trial court issued a capias for appellee’s arrest. About two-and-a-half years later, appellee was arrested in Louisiana. Once he was extradited to the State of Florida, the trial court appointed an expert to determine appellee’s competency. On October 21, 2018, the trial court determined appellee to be incompetent. In the spring of 2019, appellee was again evaluated to determine his competency to proceed. The evaluator found appellee to be incompetent and that the prognosis for successful restoration of his competency was “guarded.” On May 9, 2019, appellee filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to section 916.145, Florida Statutes (2019), which provides: “The charges against a defendant adjudicated incompetent to proceed due to mental illness shall be dismissed without prejudice to the state if the defendant remains incompetent to proceed for 5 continuous, uninterrupted years after such determination . . . .” He argued that he had remained incompetent continuously and uninterruptedly for five years. At the hearing on the motion, the State argued that because of appellee’s unsupervised absence from the state for over two years, the court could not find continuous, uninterrupted incompetency for the full five years. The trial court disagreed and dismissed the charges without prejudice pursuant to the statute. The State appeals. This Court reviews de novo the trial court’s judgment and its compliance with Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.213. Baker v. State, 221 So. 3d 637, 639 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017). On appeal, the State argues that the trial court erred …Original document

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