OSPA Offers Practically Free Traffic-Stop Training for Rural Law Enforcement
Assistant State Prosecuting Attorney John R. Messinger will conduct a 4-hour presentation covering 4th Amendment issues with a focus on traffic stops. The presentation is accompanied by a paper (distributed in advance) and includes:
∙ Historical perspective
∙ In-depth coverage of controlling law
∙ Discussion of recent cases and pending issues
∙ A quiz!
This service is for small or rural counties that do not have the resources to send officers for training. Credit can be earned with a department’s approval.
Call ((512) 463-1660) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) John to schedule a training day for this August (August will be the only time the service is offered).
1. "Did the court of appeals err in finding exigent circumstances existed?
2. "Can law enforcement create their own exigent circumstances?"
Balkissoon was arrested for felony driving while intoxicated. Relying on the mandatory blood draw statute, the trooper obtained blood without first seeking a warrant. The trooper explained that, had he attempted to obtain a warrant, the process could have taken four hours because the county does not have a magistrate available at the jail and he conducted his investigation alone. The trial court denied Balkissoon's motion to suppress.
The court of appeals affirmed. It held that the trial court could have determined that the "lengthy process" for obtaining a warrant described by the trooper, along with the fact that there was no one to help the trooper process Balkissoon's vehicle or obtain a warrant, justified proceeding without one.
Balkissoon makes two arguments. First, he argues that the exigency exception to the warrant requirement does not apply because there was nothing exceptional about this case. Because it was "business as usual," finding exigency on these facts would create a "small county exception" to the Fourth Amendment. Second, the video of the stop shows that a county deputy arrived during the stop but the trooper allowed him to leave. Balkissoon argues that an officer should not be permitted to reject assistance and then claim that the lack of assistance prevented him from pursuing a warrant.