*fn1 REPORTER'S NOTE: Previously filed as an unpublished
opinion, the Supreme Court granted a motion to publish by an
order dated September 12, 1990, pursuant to Rule 7.04 (1989 Kan.
Ct. R. Annot. 34).
In this interlocutory appeal, the City of Prairie Village
appeals from an order of the district court sustaining Mark W.
Eddy's motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of his
arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. We reverse and
Eddy was originally arrested for a traffic infraction. A
Prairie Village police officer first observed Eddy's vehicle at
95th and Nall Avenue within the city limits of Prairie Village.
The officer's attention was drawn to the vehicle when Eddy came
to a complete stop at that intersection, despite the fact that
the signal light was green at the time. The vehicle then turned
right onto Nall Avenue and proceeded northbound, but did not use
a turn signal. The officer, knowing that a failure to use a turn
signal is a violation of a municipal ordinance, followed the
vehicle northbound on Nall. Eddy's vehicle proceeded north at a
speed of approximately 20 m.p.h. The vehicle turned into the
parking lot of a vacant
office building in Overland Park. The officer followed the
vehicle into the parking lot and arrested Eddy.
Eddy was convicted in municipal court, filed an appeal with the
district court, and filed a motion to suppress "any and all
evidence obtained following the arrest." Eddy argued that the
arrest itself was unlawful.
The trial court sustained the motion to suppress, reasoning
that a municipal traffic infraction does not constitute a "crime"
under K.S.A. 22-2401a, and, thus, the officer's conduct did not
qualify as fresh pursuit. The City appealed.
The City raises two issues on appeal: (1) Is a traffic
infraction a "crime" under K.S.A. 22-2401a and 21-3105, and (2)
did the officer's actions constitute "fresh pursuit" under K.S.A.
Whether a traffic infraction constitutes a "crime" is a
question of law. Appellate review of a question of law is
unlimited. Hutchinson Nat'l Bank & Tr. Co. v. Brown,
12 Kan. App. 2d 673, 674, 753 P.2d 1299, rev. denied 243 Kan. 778
K.S.A. 21-3105 provides a statutory definition of the term
"A crime is an act or omission defined by law and
for which, upon conviction, a sentence of death,
imprisonment or fine, or both imprisonment and fine,
is authorized or, in the case of a traffic
infraction, a fine is authorized. Crimes are
classified as felonies, misdemeanors and traffic
"(1) A felony is a crime punishable by death or by
imprisonment in any state penal institution.
"(2) A traffic infraction is a violation of any of
the statutory provisions listed in subsection (c) of
K.S.A. 1984 Supp. 8-2118.
"(3) All other crimes are misdemeanors."
In 1984 the Kansas Legislature amended K.S.A. 21-3105. The
clear intent of that amendment was to include traffic infractions
in the definition of crime. Therefore, the trial court erred in
its conclusion that a traffic infraction was not a crime.
Next, the City argues that the officer's arrest of Eddy was a
result of a legitimate "fresh pursuit" pursuant to K.S.A.
22-2401a. The City asserts that the officer observed a failure to
signal for a turn in violation of a municipal ordinance. The
record indicates that this failure to signal for a turn, coupled
with the officer's observation of Eddy's vehicle stopping for a
green light, led the officer to conclude that he ought to make a
K.S.A. 22-2401a governs the extraterritorial jurisdiction of
municipal police officers. It provides:
"(2) Law enforcement officers employed by any city
may exercise their powers as law enforcement
"(a) Anywhere within the city limits of the city
employing them and outside of such city when on
property owned or under the control of such city; and
"(b) in any other place when a request for
assistance has been made by law enforcement officers
from that place or when in fresh pursuit of a
In addition, K.S.A. 22-2401a(6)(c) provides a definition of the
term "fresh pursuit." ...