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).
"Did the court of appeals err in its assessment of probable cause for a warrantless arrest pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 14.01?"
Three officers were dispatched to a bar parking lot. Two officers testified that Martinez and a woman were arguing, and Martinez was very belligerent, glassy-eyed, slurring, and too intoxicated to drive or safely walk home. Officer Quinn, who arrested Martinez for public intoxication, did not testify. The trial court granted Martinez' motion to suppress because Quinn did not testify and there was no evidence that the offense was committed in his presence or view.
The court of appeals upheld the trial court's ruling because: 1) there was no evidence that the testifying officers related their observations to Quinn; 2) the testifying officers did not participate in the arrest; and 3) there was no evidence about what facts Quinn relied upon to make the arrest.
The State contends that whether the testifying officers participated in the arrest was a question of law, and the court of appeals erred by deferring to the trial court's determination of that issue. The State also argues that the court of appeals erred by refusing to impute the knowledge of the testifying officers to Quinn without any evidence that they actually related that information to him. The Court of Criminal Appeals refused the State's petition and granted review on its own motion.