Hersey, 041593 MNAGO, AGO 494a-1

Docket Nº:AGO 494a-1
Case Date:April 15, 1993
Laurel M. Hersey
AGO 494a-1
No. 494a-1
Minnesota Attorney General Opinions
April 15, 1993
         CRIMINAL 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.          Laurel M. Hersey          Minnetonka City Attorney          14600 Minnetonka Boulevard          Minnetonka, MN 55345-1597          Dear Ms. Hersey:          In your letter to Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey III, you present substantially the following:          FACTS          An 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 vehicle.          You ask the following:          QUESTION          Is is 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?          OPINION          As qualified below, we answer your question in the affirmative.          Minn. 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 circumstances:
(1) when a public offense has been committed or attempted in the officer's or constable's presence.
(Emphasis added.)          Once a 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 bodily

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