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Author Topic: Detective Jurisdiction / Protocol  (Read 1025 times)

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mattunderwood88

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Detective Jurisdiction / Protocol
« on: August 16, 2016, 12:56:11 AM »

I'm planning on interviewing a detective regarding a crime drama screenplay I'm writing.  However, hoping to clear up a few questions along the way, so I don't have to conduct multiple conversations.

Scenario: if a homicide detective in a major city takes on a case, and the evidence leads him outside state lines (into a neighboring state), would he keep the case, or would it be transferred to local law enforcement?  I'm pretty sure he would still be involved, on some level, if the case was transferred, but I'm just not sure if he would conduct an investigation in an entirely different state.

Thanks!
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linda

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Re: Detective Jurisdiction / Protocol
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 02:41:38 PM »

Obviously, Lee Lofland would be the go-to guy on these questions. But I'll throw in a comment on this.  I'm a retired police officer out of Texas. 

If you're just following an evidence trail, and your department and the other area's department allows it, you can go to another state to collect your information/evidence.  However, you will not have any police powers or jurisdiction in that state/area.  And some states won't let a licensed police officer carry a weapon in their state.  So, you're working at a severe disadvantage from the start if you try to bypass their department. Not to mention that you'd probably be angering the officers in that jurisdiction by not letting them know you're there.  And the person you're interviewing might actually call the local police on you.

The correct thing to do would be to notify the police department in the area that you are following an investigation in your area to their area.  If they offer to collect the information for you, you'll run into problems when this goes to court since the collecting officer will have to testify.  And, unless you work in a cool vacation spot, they're not going to want to go to court in your area.

If they advise that it's fine, you will stop in at their station and let them know when you're in the area.  You'll also advise them when you leave.  This works better since they're likely to let you use one of their interview rooms, may likely assign a detective to assist you, etc.  A lot of this depends on what evidence you're going after. 

If the evidence you're talking about has to do with the location where the victim was murdered, or a major continuance of that act, you've lost jurisdiction.  The case goes to the other department.

Hope this was clear enough...
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