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Suppression not remedy for arrest

Even if the stop and detention of a defendant is unlawful, by virtue of it occurring outside the police officer’s jurisdiction, suppression of the evidence is not required, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held on Feb. 6.

On Nov. 14, 2000, Officer Eric Krueger was driving a marked squad car outside his jurisdiction, when he observed a vehicle driven by James W. Keith pull out in front of him.

Keith’s driving provided reasonable suspicion that he was intoxicated, and Krueger pulled him over. After stopping Keith, Krueger was joined by county sheriff’s deputy Ziorgen, whose jurisdiction covered the location of Keith’s stop. Both officers made observations supporting probable cause to arrest Keith for drunken driving, and Deputy Ziorgen arrested Keith.

What the court held

Case: State v. Keith, No. 02-0583-CR.

Issue: Is suppression of evidence the remedy when a police officer makes an unlawful extra jurisdictional stop and detention?

Holding: No. In the absence of a constitutional violation, or a statutory directive that suppression is the remedy, the exclusionary rule does not apply.

Counsel: Christopher A. Mutschler, Fond du Lac, for appellant; Gilbert G. Thompson, Juneau; Kathleen M. Ptacek, Madison, for respondent.

Keith was then taken to a hospital for a blood sample. En route, Keith asked “if there were any tests that I could be taking.” The deputy replied that Keith was being taken for a blood test.

At the hospital, the deputy read an “Informing the Accused” form to Keith, who consented to a blood test that indicated a blood alcohol concentration of .173%.

Keith was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant and operating a motor vehicle while having a prohibited alcohol concentration, as a third offense.

Keith filed several pretrial motions: (1) motion to suppress on the grounds that Krueger acted without authority because he was outside his jurisdiction; (2) motion to suppress the results of the blood test, arguing that he requested, but did not receive, an alternative chemical test; and (3) a motion to preclude automatic admissibility of the blood tests because the officer failed to properly inform Keith of his right to request an alternative test.

Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Andrew P. Bissonnette denied the motions, and Keith pleaded no contest. He appealed the denial of his suppression motions, but the court of appeals affirmed in a decision by Judge Paul G. Lundsten.

Extrajurisdictional Stop

Keith argued that all evidence following his stop must be suppressed, because Officer Krueger had no authority to conduct an investigatory stop outside the officer’s jurisdiction based on mere reasonable suspicion, and not probable cause.


Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Related Article

Case Analysis

The court declined to decide whether an extrajurisdictional stop can be made based only on reasonable suspicion, however, because the court concluded that suppression of the evidence was not required, even if the stop was unlawful.

The court stated, “regardless of his arguments, Keith has failed to allege the violation of a constitutional right or the violation of a statute requiring suppression as a remedy.” Pursuant to State v. Raflik, 2001 W
I 129, par. 15, 248 Wis. 2d 593, 636 N.W.2d 690, suppression of evidence is “only required when evidence has been obtained in violation of a defendant’s constitutional rights, or if a statute specifically provides for the suppression remedy.”

Alternative Test

The court also held that Officer Ziorgen did not fail to properly inform Keith of his right to an alternative chemical test, or improperly deny him an alternative test.

The court noted, “The record shows that after Keith’s arrest, while traveling to the hospital, Keith asked the officer ‘if there were any tests that I could be taking.’ The officer told Keith he was being taken to the hospital for a blood test. This exchange provides no indication that Keith found the officer’s response unsatisfactory or that Keith was requesting a test different than the one he was told would be administered at the hospital.”

Accordingly, the court affirmed.

Click here for Case Analysis.

David Ziemer can be reached by email.

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