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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
MINICUCCI v. THE STATE.
A94A1389.
MCMURRAY, Presiding Judge.
D.U.I. Coweta State Court. Before Judge Thornton.
Defendant was charged via uniform traffic citation with the offense of driving under the influence. A jury found him guilty and he appeals. Held:
1. In his first enumeration, defendant contends the trial court erred in failing to grant his oral motion to quash and dismiss the traffic citation. He argues that the traffic citation was defective under OCGA 17-4-23 (a) because it did not list the names of Coweta County Sheriff's Deputies Jai Robertson and Errol Johnson, the off-duty law enforcement officers who had personal knowledge of the facts leading to his arrest.
OCGA 17-4-23 (a) provides in pertinent part: "Whenever an arresting officer makes an arrest concerning the operation of a motor vehicle based on information received from another law enforcement officer who observed the offense being committed, the citation shall list the name of each officer and each must be present when the charges against the accused person are heard." The provisions of this Code section are unrelated to the substantive elements of any traffic misdemeanor charged in a uniform traffic citation. Rather, the interest protected by the requirement that certain law enforcement witnesses be identified on the traffic citation is a criminal defendant's "reasonable pretrial 'access to evidence,' (see California v. Trombetta, 467 U. S. 479, 485 (II) (104 SC 2528, 81 LE2d 413) (1984))[.]" Bentley v. State, 210 Ga. App. 862, 863 (2) (a) (438 SE2d 110) (interpreting OCGA 17-7-110). " 'Noncompliance with [the] provisions of this statute by the state does not entitle a defendant to a directed verdict of acquittal (or dismissal of the accusation). His available remedies are for a continuance or a mistrial.' Hunnicutt v. State, 135 Ga. App. 774, 775 (219 SE2d 22)." Maddox v. State, 145 Ga. App. 212 (2) (243 SE2d 636). In the case sub judice, defendant did not claim unfair surprise from the testimony of the unlisted law enforcement officers nor did he seek a continuance or a mistrial. Assuming that Deputies Robertson and Johnson should have been identified on the traffic citation, nevertheless the failure of the issuing officer to do so did not render the traffic citation void. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in overruling defendant's oral motion to quash. Maddox v. State, 145 Ga. App. 212 (2), supra.
2. In his second enumeration, defendant contends the trial court erred in granting the prosecution's motion for a continuance and in denying his motion to dismiss for want of prosecution, arguing that a continuance was unwarranted because the absent prosecution witnesses had not been subpoenaed.
App. 116, 117 (4) (438 SE2d 107).
John H. Cranford, Solicitor, for appellee.
Saia, Richardson & Meinken, Joseph J. Saia, for appellant.
DECIDED AUGUST 3, 1994 -- RECONSIDERATION DENIED AUGUST 18, 1994 -- CERT. APPLIED FOR.
Thursday May 21 06:50 EDT


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