COREY REYNOLDS v. STATE OF FLORIDA

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District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fifth District.

COREY REYNOLDS, Appellant, v. STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

Case No. 5D17-407

Decided: September 29, 2017

D. Gray Thomas, of Law Office of D. Gray Thomas, P.A., Jacksonville, for Appellant. Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Bonnie Jean Parrish, Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for Appellee.

Appellant, Corey Reynolds, appeals the summary denial of his Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 motion alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Appellant alleges that his counsel was ineffective for failing to pursue an involuntary intoxication defense, and that counsel incorrectly believed that an involuntary intoxication defense was unavailable to Appellant. In summarily denying the motion, the trial court reasoned that “[c]ounsel made a reasonable strategic decision to present a theory of defense based on the accidental discharge of a firearm.”

Generally, a trial court may not summarily deny a rule 3.850 motion on the ground that trial counsel made a reasonable tactical decision, unless “it is so obvious from the face of the record that trial counsel's strategy not to present a voluntary intoxication defense is very clearly a tactical decision well within the discretion of counsel.” Hannon v. State, 941 So. 2d 1109, 1138 (Fla. 2006). Based on this record alone, however, we cannot conclude that “it is so obvious ․ that trial counsel's strategy ․ is very clearly a tactical decision well within the discretion of counsel.” Id. This is especially so given Appellant's allegation that counsel was operating under the mistaken assumption that an involuntary intoxication defense was unavailable to Appellant. We therefore reverse and remand for an evidentiary hearing.

REVERSED and REMANDED for Evidentiary Hearing.

PER CURIAM.

EVANDER, WALLIS, and EISNAUGLE JJ., concur.

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