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. Read more...
- "Did the Second Court of Appeals err in misapplying the Jackson v. Virginia legal sufficiency standard by holding evidence the Appellant was intoxicated, caused a wreck with a stationary occupied vehicle, and disregarded a red light was legally insufficient to support a finding the Appellant's vehicle was a deadly weapon?"
- "Did the Second Court of Appeals err in holding that the infliction of minor injuries or "bodily injury" by the Appellant's vehicle rendered any actual danger of causing death or serious bodily injury purely hypothetical and thus insufficient to support a deadly weapon finding?"
- "Does a deadly weapon finding in a felony driving while intoxicated conviction require a mens rea of reckless conduct?"
Moore rear-ended a BMW stopped at a red light. The car's air-bags did not deploy but it was totaled. Even though the BMW's driver had her foot on the brake pedal, the impact caused her to hit the vehicle stopped ahead. The BMW driver and her daughter were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. Moore pled guilty to felony DWI, and the trial court entered a deadly weapon finding.
The court of appeals deleted the finding, holding that the BMW's occupants, having sustained only minor injuries, were never in any real danger of death or serious bodily injury. Further, there was no evidence that Moore had a reckless mental state.
The State argues that the court of appeals erred in concluding that each individual piece of evidence demonstrating dangerous and reckless driving was insufficient. It disregarded Moore's BAC, citing a lack evidence of how a person with a .27 BAC would drive. Intoxication, along with other facts, supports the finding. Moore disobeyed a traffic signal and caused a collision that had such force to result in a secondary collision. The actuality of minor injuries does not negate the "capable of cause death or serious bodily injury" element. The State further contends that a deadly weapon finding does not require a reckless mental state; if it does, the facts show Moore acted recklessly.