Laurel M. Hersey
Minnesota Attorney General Opinions
April 15, 1993
LAW: UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET: Issuance for violation not
committed or attempted in presence of officer. Superceding
Op. Atty. Gen. 494a-1, March 14, 1967. Minn. Stat.
§§ 169.91, 169.92, 169.99, 629.34.
letter to Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III, you
present substantially the following:
accident occurred as a result of an individual's failure
to maintain vehicle control contrary to Minn. Stat. §
169.14 which is a misdemeanor. Although the officer did not
personally observe the violation, he subsequently acquired
information sufficient to establish probable cause and
shortly thereafter issued a citation to the driver of the
lawful for an officer to issue a traffic citation together
with a notice to appear for a misdemeanor traffic violation
not occurring in the officers' presence?
qualified below, we answer your question in the affirmative.
Stat. S 629.34, subd. 1(c)(1) (1992) provides:
A peace officer, constable, or part-time peace officer who is
authorized under paragraphs (a) or (b) to make an arrest
without a warrant may do so under the following
(1) when a public offense has been committed or attempted in
the officer's or constable's presence.
lawful warrantless misdemeanor arrest has been made, a
citation may be issued in lieu of custodial arrest. Minn. R.
Crim. P. 6.01, subd. 1(1)(a) provides:
Law enforcement officers acting without a warrant, who have
decided to proceed with prosecution, shall issue
citations to persons subject to lawful arrest for
misdemeanors, unless it reasonably appears to the
officer that arrest or detention is necessary to prevent