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State v. Harris

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

March 14, 2014

State of Alabama
v.
Haggai Harris, Jr

As Amended July 29, 2014.

Released for Publication March 5, 2015.

Appeal from Montgomery Circuit Court. (CC-13-182; CC-13-183). Tracy S. McCooey, Trial Judge.

REVERSED AND REMANDED.

For Appellant: Luther Strange, Attorney General, Kristi O. Wilkerson, Assistant Attorney General.

For Appellee: Matthew Bruce Alfreds, Montgomery.

Windom, P.J., and Kellum, Burke, and Joiner, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 87

WELCH, Judge.

The State of Alabama filed this pretrial appeal after the circuit court granted the motion filed by Haggai Harris, Jr., to suppress certain evidence.

On May 17, 2012, Harris was charged with driving under the influence (" DUI" ), a violation of § 32-5A-191, Ala. Code 1975, and with leaving the scene of an accident, a violation of § 32-10-1, Ala. Code 1975. Harris was convicted of these charges in the Montgomery County District Court, and he appealed to the circuit court for a trial de novo.

On April 29, 2013, Harris filed a " Motion to Quash Arrest and to Suppress Evidence." (Supp. R. 9.) In this motion, Harris cited caselaw and statutes intended to support the following assertions: 1) that State Trooper Thomas Hutton, the arresting officer, had no legal authority to arrest Harris for an offense committed outside Trooper Harris's presence and for which Trooper Harris had no arrest warrant; and 2) Harris's Fourth Amendment right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated when Trooper Hutton crossed the threshold of Harris's private dwelling by entering into Harris's open garage to access and knock on a door leading into Harris's house; therefore, according to Harris, the evidence of Harris's intoxication was obtained as a direct result of this illegal entry and should be suppressed. The State responded with an answer citing caselaw intended to support the denial of Harris's motion. On May 8, 2013, the circuit court held a hearing on Harris's motion.

At the May 8, 2013, hearing, the parties stipulated to the following facts.[1] On May 17, 2012, ...


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