Can An Enhanced Sentence Be Vacated When the Judge Fails to Inform the Defendant of the Consequences ?
In Ashley v. State, 614 So. 2d 486, 490-91 (Fla. 1993), for instance, court held that the failure of the trial judge to inform the defendant of the consequences of habitualization required that the enhanced sentence be vacated.
Though we did not use the words "manifest injustice" or "prejudice," our decision in Ashley can only be interpreted to mean that the uninformed defendant was prejudiced by the imposition of an enhanced sentence predicated upon the uninformed plea. Recently, in State v. Wilson, 658 So. 2d 521 (Fla. 1995), we considered similar facts and directed that the defendant be given "the opportunity to withdraw his plea and proceed to trial if he so desires." Id. at 523.
In neither Ashley nor Wilson did we require that the defendant show any level of probability of acquittal.
Rather, the determination of prejudice in those cases was based upon the consequences of the asserted violation, i.e., the imposition of enhanced penalties. See Wilson, 658 So. 2d 521; Ashley, 614 So. 2d at 490-91.