NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES FOR REHEARING
AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF
Appeal No. CRC 07-47 APANO
Opinion filed _________________.
Appeal from an order entered
County Judge John Carassas
Carolyn Moomaw, Esquire
Assistant State Attorney
Curtis M. Crider, Esquire
Attorney for appellee
ORDER AND OPINION
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the State’s appeal from an order entered by the Pinellas County Court granting the defendant’s motion to suppress. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the decision of the trial court.
The trial court granted the motion
to suppress because at virtually all times during this incident, the
The State claims the Mutual Aid Agreement that Largo had with Belleair Bluffs allows police officers in those cities to enforce the traffic laws and to take such action as necessary and appropriate to protect the health and safety of the public when a violation occurs on a contiguous way. The State argues that because a portion of the driving occurred on a contiguous way, the police officer who detained the defendant was within the scope of the Mutual Aid Agreement; therefore, the State concludes, the arrest was proper.
The intent of the agreement, however, is that a stop is authorized when an officer, while in his jurisdiction, observes a traffic offense on a contiguous roadway. It is not the intent of the agreement that an officer can assume policing duties outside his jurisdiction, and properly stop a citizen who has the misfortune to drive onto a road contiguous to the officer’s city. This Court agrees with the trial court that the Mutual Aid Agreement is not applicable under the facts of this case.
Moreover, the agreement requires probable cause, and not just a reasonable suspicion. The Agreement states that when an officer “observes a traffic infraction occurring on a contiguous way, such officer may take appropriate action to enforce the traffic laws of the state and issue any and all necessary citations, notice to appear or to effect arrests; … .” Clearly, that does not authorize a stop based upon reasonable suspicion --- it requires probable cause. And probable cause in this case was not developed until after the stop.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this Court affirms the decision of the trial court.
DONE AND ORDERED in
Joseph A. Bulone David A. Demers
Circuit Court Judge Circuit Court Judge
Cynthia J. Newton
Circuit Court Judge
cc: Office of the State Attorney
Honorable John Carassas
Curtis M. Crider, Esquire