State v. Armstrong, 1

Decision Date04 April 1989
Docket NumberCA-CR,No. 1,1
Citation160 Ariz. 159,771 P.2d 889
PartiesSTATE of Arizona, Appellant, v. Robert Lee ARMSTRONG, Appellee. 88-347.
CourtArizona Court of Appeals

FIDEL, Judge.

The state appeals from the trial court's order dismissing two felony drunk driving charges against Robert Lee Armstrong pursuant to Hinson v. Coulter, 150 Ariz. 306, 723 P.2d 655 (1986). The trial court declined to exclude from its calculation of elapsed time the delay that resulted from the inability of the state to serve defendant with the summons. The state argues that this time should have been excluded under Rule 8.4(a), 17 A.R.S. Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, because the state's service effort met the standard of due diligence. We affirm the trial court because we find, upon a review of the record, that the evidence permitted the trial court to conclude that the state had not exercised reasonable diligence in attempting to find and serve Armstrong.


Armstrong was arrested on September 18, 1987, and cited for driving while under the influence of alcohol and driving with 0.10 percent or more of alcohol in his blood. Armstrong gave the police his home address and the name, but not the address or telephone number, of his employer.

On November 4, 1987, a summons issued. On November 9 and again on November 12, a constable attempted to serve defendant at his home but found no one home. The state alleged, though it introduced no evidence to prove, that the constable left a note each time advising defendant to contact him or the police department. Defendant and his aunt, who reside at the same address, both denied having seen these notes.

On November 30, 1987, a warrant was issued for defendant's arrest. He was arrested pursuant to the warrant on January 21 or 22, 1988, and made an initial appearance on January 22.

On March 3, 1988, defendant filed a motion to dismiss, pursuant to Hinson, arguing that the 150 day time limit from the date of arrest to the date of trial had elapsed on February 15. Disposition of this motion depended on whether the court would exclude from the computation of elapsed time the period when the state unsuccessfully attempted to serve defendant with a summons. This in turn depended on whether the state's service efforts met the standard of reasonable diligence.

The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, concluding that, "when no response was received following the November 9, 1987, visit to the defendant's home, the state should have attempted service by other means." The state filed a timely notice of appeal from this order, and we have jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-4032(1).


Hinson requires that a defendant arrested for driving while intoxicated be indicted and tried within 150 days of his arrest. If the defendant "occasions" a delay, the 150 day time limit is tolled. Hinson, 150 Ariz. at 311, 723 P.2d at 660; Rule 8.4, 17 A.R.S. Rules of Criminal Procedure. The defendant may occasion delay by avoiding service. However, where delay attributable to inability to serve the defendant is not intentionally occasioned by defendant, the state must show that it attempted to achieve service with "due diligence" in order for that time to be excluded under Hinson. Duron v. Fleischman, 156 Ariz. 189, 192, 751 P.2d 39, 42 (App.1988); State v. Tarkington, 157 Ariz. 556, 558, 760 P.2d 556, 558 (App.1988).

Although the question of due diligence necessarily turns upon the details of each case, the standard is constant: whether the state took reasonable steps to locate the accused based upon all of the information that it possessed. Characteristic of cases of inadequate diligence is the state's failure to pursue significant leads.

For example, in Duron v. Fleischman, 156 Ariz. 189, 751 P.2d 39 (App.1988), defendant had provided the police with a post office box address....

To continue reading

Request your trial
7 cases
  • State v. Jackson
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • May 28, 2004
    ...investigative leads that likely would have led to successful service of summons or warrant on defendant); State v. Armstrong, 160 Ariz. 159, 161, 771 P.2d 889, 891 (App.1989) (dismissal on speedy-trial grounds upheld because, had state attempted to serve defendant by mail, summons would hav......
  • State v. Acinelli, 1
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • July 24, 1997 locate the accused based upon all of the information that it possessed." Id. at 413, 880 P.2d at 633, quoting State v. Armstrong, 160 Ariz. 159, 160, 771 P.2d 889, 890 B. Motion to Suppress The defendant moved to suppress the evidence the DPS officers obtained during their search of his ......
  • McDonnough v. Com., 2947-95-2
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • June 24, 1997
    ...a reasonable and prudent man under the particular circumstances." Black's Law Dictionary 457 (6th ed.1990). See also State v. Armstrong, 160 Ariz. 159, 771 P.2d 889, 890 (Ct.App.1989) ("Although the question of due diligence necessarily turns upon the details of each case, the standard is c......
  • State v. Escobar-Mendez, 1 CA-CR 97-0999.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • February 25, 1999 supported by any reasonable evidence. Humble v. Superior Court, 179 Ariz. 409, 414, 880 P.2d 629, 634 (App.1993); State v. Armstrong, 160 Ariz. 159, 161, 771 P.2d 889, 891 ¶ 16 Defendant argues that when thirteen-year-old Y.T. had a baby at a county hospital this amounted to "actual disc......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT