Virginia Richmond Reckless Driving Felony 46.2-940 Fairfax County Prince William Loudoun Alexandria Arlington
Commonwealth of Virginia v. Darren Develle Dixon
CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
42 Va. Cir. 146
April 14, 1997, Decided
The officer pulled the vehicle over, smelled a slight odor of alcohol, gave a field sobriety test, and decided to issue the driver a summons for reckless driving. After informing the driver, the officer performed a protective sweep of the vehicle in order to determine if any weapons were present. When digging through a pile of papers in the back seat, the officer picked up a small folded piece of paper. The folded paper was then opened and a substance believed to be heroin was found inside. Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence taken from defendant’s automobile.
Whether the issuance of a summons negates the fact that the defendant was under arrest?
The Court held that “The officer had probable cause to arrest the defendant for reckless driving, a misdemeanor committed in his presence. Once a police officer has made a lawful custodial arrest of the occupant of an automobile, an officer is authorized to search the vehicle’s passenger compartment. The initial stop and detention were supported by probable cause. The fact that the officer was going to release the person from custody under the provisions of § 46.2-936 does not negate the fact that the defendant was under arrest. Indeed, while the defendant was still in custody, the officer could have made the determination that the defendant would ignore the summons or the defendant could have refused to sign the summons, thereby requiring the officer to bring the person before a magistrate. Va Code Ann. § 46.2-940. Because the search of the vehicle was incident to a lawful arrest, the Motion to Suppress is denied.
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.
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tags: 46.2940, Alexandria, Arlington, County, Driving, Fairfax, Felony, Loudoun, Prince, Reckless, Richmond, Virginia, William