THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY
STATE OF FLORIDA
v. Appeal No. CRC 00-19056 CFANO
Opinion filed _____________________.
Appeal from a decision of the
Pinellas County Court
County Judge Amy Williams
W. Bradley Burnette, Esq.
Assistant State Attorney
Robert Eckard, Esq.
Attorney for appellee
†††† THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Stateís appeal from a decision of the Pinellas County Court to grant the defendantís motion to suppress. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court reverses the decision of the County Court.
†††††† The defendant was observed by an officer working for the Tarpon Springs police department. The defendant was speeding and weaving through traffic in Pinellas County. The officer pursued the defendant and ultimately stopped him in Pasco County. The officer immediately notified the Pasco County officer in charge and turned the defendant over to Pasco County authorities. The officer did not take the defendant before a judge or magistrate in Pasco County.
††††† The applicable statute is the fresh pursuit statute --† ß901.25(3), Fla. Stat. (2000). It states:
††††† If an arrest is made in this state by an officer outside the county within which his or
††††† her jurisdiction lies, the officer shall immediately notify the officer in charge of the
††††† jurisdiction in which the arrest is made. Such officer in charge of the jurisdiction
††††† shall, along with the officer making the arrest, take the person so arrested before
††††† a county court judge or other committing magistrate of the county in which the
††††† arrest was made without unnecessary delay.
†††† The trial court granted the motion to dismiss because the police did not comply with this statute. Specifically, the police did not take the defendant in front of a judge or magistrate. The State argues that the officer could not do that, and in fact did not need to do that, because the defendant had quickly bonded out of jail and was, therefore, not even available to be taken in front of a judge or magistrate. In addition, the State argues that dismissal was too harsh a sanction for the violation of the statute.
† †††This Court holds that the trial court erred in granting the defendantís motion to dismiss. The purpose of this section of the statute is to ensure that defendants are not held for an unreasonable time. Under the facts of the case at bar, the purpose of the statute was met. That is, the defendant was not held for an unreasonable time. Moreover, any technical violation of the literal wording of the statute is not legally significant. It does not affect the validity of the arrest, it does not deprive the arresting officer of jurisdiction, and it does not in any way render the stop, arrest, or detention illegal. Thus, there was no legal basis for the trial court to dismiss the charges.
††††† IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the order granting defendantís motion to dismiss is reversed.
†††††† DONE AND ORDERED in Chamber at St.Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida this 5th day of October, 2001.
††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† †††††††††††
cc:†† State Attorney
††††††† Robert Eckard, Esq.
††††††† Judge Williams