AR Supreme Court - April 21, 2016

Cody W. Dowden, Attorney at Law

State v. Sprenger - Appeal of a circuit court ruling by the State to contest suppressed evidence - appeal dismissed

An appeal by the State is a relatively rare thing. Generally the State (i.e. the prosecutor) is restricted to what are called "interlocutory" appeals governed by Rule 3 of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure - Criminal, whereas criminal defendants have a constitutional right to appeal. Interlocutory appeals are most often taken to contest a lower court's decision to suppress evidence. However, the Supreme Court will only accept an appeal by the State if the result would have an effect on the uniform administration of justice. In other words, the appeal must be able to settle an issue likely to come up regularly. In this case the circuit court ruled to suppress child pornography discovered during a search warrant execution due to a deficient affidavit being used to obtain the search warrant.

Because the suppression was a fact specific to that particular case, and it was unlikely the ruling sought would affect other criminal cases, the Court dismissed the State's appeal, stating there was no legal basis for the case to be appealed in the first place.

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