Cop from another city pulled me over, is that legal?

geno

Lifer
Dec 26, 1999
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I always thought police had to stick to their own juristiction (sp?) when pulling someone over? I was heading home just now, and to get home I go around a rotary that is attached to a long causway that goes to a really small close by town (think a peninsula wiht only one road in and one road out), well the cop was sitting at the end of the causeway, adjascent to the rotary. Coming around the rotary, I see him, and recognize the badging on his car, he was from the small town, not my city, so I think "oh, I'm safe" and keep driving (I wasn't doing anything over the limit, but I do have a headlight out and a rejected inspection sticker). Well, to my surprise, he pulls out behind me and flashes me to pull over. I do, he walks up, and I greet him kindly. He does the regular thing, license/reg, I give it to him.... he walks back and asks why I have the rejection, I told him it was for emissions. He gives me back my lic/reg and says "I'm not gonna write you up for that, just take care of that headlight and that sticker" and walks off (this is about 100yds from my house too). So that was that, but I still wasn't sure if he *could* pull me over or not since he's not a cop for my city. I'm not mad or anything, nor would I be had I gotten a ticket/warning, just curious is all. The cop was actually pretty nice, which, with the exception of the Staties around here, is pretty common around my way (nice cops are a good thing hehe) :)

Any info on this? Does it vary from state to state? I'm in MA by the way...
 

carmeo

Senior member
Apr 13, 2001
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I think traffic laws are go by states not by cities. But you can check them out since I'm not 100% sure.
 

Rogue

Banned
Jan 28, 2000
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He probably knew he was out of his jurisdiction and that's why he didn't write you. He could legally stop you and request the assistance of an officer that IS within jurisdiction though.
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,493
18
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Don't hold me to this but I think he might have the authority to pull you over but he does not have the authority to write you a citation or arrest you which is why you received no ticket. I think he can legally detain you and if he deems furhter action is needed he can call in the Police from the appropriate jurisdiction and act as a witness to the violation so you can be cited by them. I could be totaly wrong here, but I remember this from somewhere???
 

AmazonRasta

Banned
Dec 2, 2000
2,005
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<< He probably knew he was out of his jurisdiction and that's why he didn't write you. >>



I was just about to say the same thing.
 

notfred

Lifer
Feb 12, 2001
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I thought you liked your car? Car enthusiasts dont just go around with headlights out. fix that! it makes your car look ghetto.
 
Oct 9, 1999
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From my understanding from watching "Glendale COPS" (a local city wide tv show on cable) that an law enforcement officer can stop even if they arent their area, however they have to fill twice teh amount of paper work. Most cops hate paper work and hence dont do it, but if it comes to it a cop from LA can someone in NY if they need to.. they just have file papers on both sides.
 

FreeAgent

Senior member
Nov 30, 2001
302
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A cop who is on duty and out of his/her town on official city/town buisiness is still a police officer all over his/her state and if he/she is witness to a crime he/she is obligated by law to respond. So to answer your question no its not illegal unless this local was off duty at the time then its illegal and you could make a case on it.
 

perry

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2000
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<< Don't hold me to this but I think he might have the authority to pull you over but he does not have the authority to write you a citation or arrest you which is why you received no ticket. I think he can legally detain you and if he deems furhter action is needed he can call in the Police from the appropriate jurisdiction and act as a witness to the violation so you can be cited by them. I could be totaly wrong here, but I remember this from somewhere??? >>



This link kinda confirms. Says he can chase you from his jurisdiction to another, but only issue tickets for what you did in his jurisdiction. But he can give a statement to the other cops saying what you did, and they'll write you up. I imagine if you had been rude to him, he woulda hopped on the radio and called for someone to come write you up.

Now, he can't make you sit and wait for an hour or two while the other cops show up. There was some court case (we talked about it in 10th grade Civics class) about that. Write you up, or let you go. Due process and all that constitutional stuff.
 
Apr 5, 2000
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What perry said - I had to do a case study in my Business law class over this exact issue - he can pull you over for violations that he sees but he can't do anything to you - he can request the help of the proper jurisdiction though and explain what he saw as violations to them and have them write you up/arrest you/etc.
 

perry

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2000
4,018
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Read this thread at Google... Has some good info being passed around, if you ignore the flames... Seems like it depends on local laws.
 

FreeAgent

Senior member
Nov 30, 2001
302
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<< What perry said - I had to do a case study in my Business law class over this exact issue - he can pull you over for violations that he sees but he can't do anything to you - he can request the help of the proper jurisdiction though and explain what he saw as violations to them and have them write you up/arrest you/etc. >>


That is correct but this is too at least in my state.

<< A cop who is on duty and out of his/her town on official city/town buisiness is still a police officer all over his/her state and if he/she is witness to a crime he/she is obligated by law to respond. So to answer your question no its not illegal unless this local was off duty at the time then its illegal and you could make a case on it.>>
 

FreeAgent

Senior member
Nov 30, 2001
302
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Laws do very from state to state. I should hope that if I were being stabbed in one city and a cop from another was a few feet away watching that he would involve himself regardless.