Is Referring to a Defendant As a Prior Convict Harmful ?

In Czubak v. State, 570 So. 2d 925 (Fla. 1990) a witness, in response to cross-examination by defense counsel, volunteered inadmissible facts concerning a prior unrelated collateral crime and wrong of the defendant by referring to the defendant as a prior convict. The defendant in Czubak did not receive an adverse ruling as to the initial admissibility of the inappropriate evidence. However, a motion for mistrial submitted after the inappropriate evidence had been volunteered was denied just as occurred in the present case. In Czubak, this Court specifically stated the admission of the evidence of an unrelated collateral crime (which consisted of referring to the defendant as a convict) was presumptively harmful. The Czubak court then proceeded to reverse the conviction by applying the standard that such error could be considered harmless only if it could be said beyond a reasonable doubt that the verdict could not have been affected by the error.