A Traffic Stop Followed by a Summons is not an Intervening Arrest for Sentencing Guidelines Purposes
In United States v. Ley, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 5618617 (3d Cir., Nov. 22, 2017), the Third Circuit held that a traffic stop, followed by the issuance of a summons, is not an intervening arrest for the purpose of calculating a defendant’s prior convictions under USSG § 4A1.2(a)(2). Defendant John Francis Ley received two speeding tickets on two consecutive days. After writing each ticket, the police released Ley and informed him that the matter would proceed via summons. No arrest was made and Ley was sentenced for both matters on the same day. The District Court, however, held that the issuance of the summons constituted an intervening arrest for the purposes of the Guidelines and each ticket therefore merited an individual criminal history point. Ley appealed. Looking at the ordinary meaning of both “arrest” and “summons,” as well as the Supreme Court’s history of distinguishing arrests from other interactions with law enforcement, the Third Circuit, joining three other circuits and splitting with the Seventh, held that “a traffic stop, followed by the issuance of a summons, is not an arrest.” The court also rejected the government’s argument that defendant waived the issue by failing to object to a supplemental PSR addendum.