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Taking defendant from site of stop to nearby police station didn’t turn stop into an arrest

State v. Michael J. Adrian, Jr., 2013AP1890-CR, District 4, 3/6/14; court of appeals decision (1-judge; ineligible for publication); case activity

Transporting Adrian from the site his vehicle was stopped to the nearest police station for the purpose of performing field sobriety tests did not convert a lawful Terry detention into an illegal custodial arrest.

A person temporarily detained under Terry may be moved “in the general vicinity of the stop without converting what would otherwise be a temporary seizure into an arrest.” State v. Quartana, 213 Wis. 2d 440, 446, 570 N.W.2d 618 (Ct. App. 1997). Whether the transport of the person to a different location converts the temporary seizure into an arrest turns on two factors: (1) was the person moved within the “vicinity”; and (2) was the purpose in moving the person reasonable. Id. Adrian doesn’t dispute that he was moved within the vicinity (the police station was a block-and-a-half from the traffic stop) or that the purpose was reasonable (it was cold and windy, the sidewalk was unshoveled and slushy). (¶¶8-9).

Adrian instead points to all the other facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe he was under arrest: four officers were present at the traffic stop; Adrian was not informed of his right to remain on the scene and perform his field sobriety test; the officer conducted a pat-down search of Adrian before moving him; the squad car was locked; Adrian was separated from his keys and wallet; the sally port to which Adrian was transported was not in public view; and Adrian was moved to a “confined, law enforcement location.” (¶10). The court finds these facts unexceptional, already considered by the Quartana test, or speculative (¶12), and concludes “the conditions of the transport, when considered in light of the totality of the circumstances, did not transform the temporary seizure into an arrest.” (¶13).

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