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Author Topic: Jurisdiction questions  (Read 9061 times)

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jae

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Jurisdiction questions
« on: July 13, 2007, 09:13:31 PM »

A couple of questions.

1.  Can an officer from one town arrest somebody who is a murder suspect in his town if he sees him/her in another town?

2.   If a county officer takes a suspect in for questioning, can the suspect be transferred to the jail in the town where the crime was committed?

Okay, now I've got three questions...

3.   How long does it take to process a suspect?

Thanks for any help,

Jae
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Peg H

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2007, 11:10:55 PM »

I asked my husband and these are the answers he gave me:

1. Only if he's in hot pursuit can he arrest the guy, otherwise he needs to call the locals in to make the arrest.

2. Depends on if he's been arrested or not, just taking someone in for questioning doesn't mean they are under arrest.  If they are arrested, they can be transferred if the town is in the same county's jurisdiction, but it's not the officer's choice, it's up to the judge who arraigns him.

3. That is highly variable and something you can play with.

Hope this helps!

Peg H
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 11:16:57 PM by Peg H »
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2007, 11:15:46 PM »

Jse,

Re your questions below:

1.  Can an officer from one town arrest somebody who is a murder suspect in his town if he sees him/her in another town?

Depends.  In most states, a municipal police officer or a country sheriff or deputy sheriff are designated as "state peace officers," which means that their authority as peace officers is statewide, not limited to their employing jurisdiction.

If the "other town" was in the same state, then, for the most part, presuming the officer actually had  probable cause, he could make the arrest.  Without probable cause, by the way, he couldn't make the arrest at all, even in his own town/county.

If the "other town" was in another state, then it would still depend.  Some states extend "state peace officer" status to out-of-state officers as long as they are in the state for some law enforcement purpose.  A deputy sheriff performing an extradition, for example.  Other states extend it to any visiting peace officer, on or off-duty.

Let's say the officer was in a town in another state specifically for the purpose of investigating the murder, following up a lead in that town, for example, and it was while he was there, on his investigation, that he saw the suspect.  In that case, he could probably make the arrest.  

However, if the officer was there for a vacation, and just happened to see the suspect, then it might be more problematic.  

2.   If a county officer takes a suspect in for questioning, can the suspect be transferred to the jail in the town where the crime was committed?

Generally, arrestees wind up in county if they aren't released OR, or on bond or bail, so if he was already in county jail, why transport him?  It's easier to bring the city cops to the prisoner than the prisoner to the city cops.  I'm not saying it would never happen, but to me it sounds unlikely.

3.   How long does it take to process a suspect?

That depends too.  Generally, anyone who'a arrested for anything will have to have up to four full sets of prints taken, one for the FBI, one for the state, one for the county sheriff, and one for the arresting agency.  In some agencies, full sets of palm prints might also be taken, at least for themunicipal and county agencies.  Each of those agencies will generate a identifcation number for that individual.

Let's say, however, just to use an example, that the suspect, arrested in a town in Alameda County, CA, (where I cut my law enforcement teeth) already has a fairly substantial record.  A quick check will show that he already has an FBI number, a CII number, and a PFN number from the sheriff.  A check of local files will show that he's already been arrested in that city, too.  In that case, the suspect will only have one set of right flats taken (right flats are the prints of the four fingers of the right hand, taken simultaneously, rather than painstakingly rolled as individual prints are).  These will be faxed to the sheriff's Central ID Bureau, where a tech will make a comparison for confirmation purposes.  Once the confirmation is made, the process is completed very quickly.

If the suspect apparently had no record, however, one full set of prints, that's ten rolled prints, plus a set of right flats and left flats, and a set of unrolled thumbs, would have to be faxed to CIB, and a much more difficult process of making sure there is no record would take place.  The booking can't completed until it's confirmed that there's no record in Alameda County.  In the meantime, the arresting officer or jailer will take a set for the FBI, a set for the State CII, two sets for the County CIB, plus two sets of palms for CIB, plus a set of palms for his own city, all to go with the full set he already took and faxed to the CIB.  That, as you can imagine, takes awhile.

And that's why processing an ax murderer with a long record might not take nearly as long as processing someone who shoplifted a candy bar and has no previous record.

It's the one instance in which a career criminal makes a cop's life easier.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 11:19:42 PM by JIM DOHERTY »
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jae

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2007, 12:04:47 AM »

Thanks so much for the information. 

Here's another two questions.

1. If the suspect is wanted only for questioning in the small town, would he be taken to the local police station/sheriff's office, or the small town's police station?

2. If he is from out of town, and questioned, but not arrested, does he have to stay in the area? If so, how long?

I appreciate all of you helping with this.

Jae



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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2007, 11:20:07 AM »

Jae,

Re your qustions below:

1. If the suspect is wanted only for questioning in the small town, would he be taken to the local police station/sheriff's office, or the small town's police station?

As with so much in American law enforcement, it all depends.  Assuming that the original crime took place in the small town, the small town's municipal PD would be the agency with primary jurisdiction.  But the suspect might be brought to the nearest police facility, including but not limited to the nearest sheriff's station, to be questioned. 

On an unrelated note, if the suspect is actually in custody during the questioning, even if he's not officially under arrest, and "being brought to the the station" suggests he is, he's got to be given the Miranda warning.  And more often than not, being given the Miranda warning results in "no questioning."

To avoid the appearance of custody, so that they can question him without the warning, the police may simply call the suspect up and request that he present himself at the nearest convenient police facility.  Or they may come to his house and question him at his convenience.  In other words, they will create circumstances that give the suspect some control over when, how, and how much he's questioned so that there's no legal reason to give the Miranda warning.

Miranda interrogations are, or should be, reserved for when the suspect's actually arrested, by which time the police usually have enough evidence to amount to "probable cause," which makes it easier to persuade the suspect to give his side, even after he's gotten the warning.

Another point.  In may local areas, "major crime squads" are set up.  This is a squad, usually administered by the sheriff's office, made up of experienced detectives from several agencies around the county.  They are able to come into a small town with limited investigative resources and take over a major case, at the request, usually, of that small town's police force.  In that case, any interview, particularly any custodial, interview, would take place wherever the major case unit has its  headquarters, usually the sheriff's office.

2. If he is from out of town, and questioned, but not arrested, does he have to stay in the area? If so, how long?

If he's not in custody, he can go wherever he wants to go.  In fact, if he's not in custody, he can get up at any time during questioning and leave, even if the cops aren't done questioning him.  It's his ability to leave that makes it unnecessary to give the Miranda warning.

The cops can request that he stay available, but that "don't leave town" stuff is BS.

If he goes out of state, and the police finally get enough to charge him, then they'll just have to extradite him.

If there's already a warrant for his arrest, though, and then he leaves the state, he becomes federal fugitive.  The FBI can come in on an "unlawful flight" warrant, which, when they catch up to him, makes it much easier to get him back into the charging state.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2007, 11:22:59 AM by JIM DOHERTY »
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jae

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2007, 12:04:04 AM »

Hey Jim,

Thanks so much for clearing that up. I may have to rework some things in that scene. It'll make it less dramatic, but more accurate.

How about the small town officer drawing his weapon? The suspect is apparently unarmed. Would that be a big nono?

I figured the "don't leave town" thing was something invented for television.

Thanks,
Jae
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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 02:27:06 PM »

Jae,

Re your question below:

How about the small town officer drawing his weapon? The suspect is apparently unarmed. Would that be a big nono?

Depends on a whole lot of things.  The particular policy of the department, the laws of the state in which that jurisdiction is located, what crime has allegedly occurred, the officer's reasonable state of mind, what the suspect, whether or not he's armed, is doing at the time the officer pulled his weapon, whether or not the officer  can articulate the circumstances that caused him to think it was necessary to draw his weapon, etc., etc.

It's not hard and fast.  I'd need to know more than just "small-town cop" and "apparently unarmed suspect."

FWIW, the size of the jurisdiction, at least in a perfect world, shouldn't make that much difference in whether or not the officer is justified in pulling his weapon.

jae

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2007, 11:11:23 PM »

Wow, that's a lot to think about. I can see that I'm going to have to do some tweaking on that scene, which will have a domino effect on the rest of the chapter.

I guess the officer could just walk up to the suspect (who is at a gas pump, filling up before leaving town. He can't escape in the car because he's blocked by a school bus.) and tell him he needs to talk to him. That seems a bit vanilla to me, but it might be more beliveable.

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JIM DOHERTY

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2007, 11:33:57 PM »

Jae,

Re your situation below:

I guess the officer could just walk up to the suspect (who is at a gas pump, filling up before leaving town. He can't escape in the car because he's blocked by a school bus.) and tell him he needs to talk to him. That seems a bit vanilla to me, but it might be more beliveable.

Again, it depends.  Is the suspect someone who just fits a description, or someone the officer absolutely knows is the person he's looking for?

What's he wanted for?  Shop-lifting a candy bar is one thing.  Multiple murder is another.

Does the officer have a good reason to think the suspect is armed, even though he's not holding a weapon in his hands at the moment?  For example, did a bulletin say "Suspect believed to be armed and dangerous?"  If so, even if there are no weapons in  plain sight, the officer has a right to take the information he's received at face value.

How far away is back-up?

Also, the school bus may be blocking the suspect's escape, but it's also providing the suspect with a whole busful of potential hostages.  On the other hand, pulling out a gun might expose the kids to gunfire.  Those are both points the cop might consider.

Finally, how experienced is the cop?  Cops, after all, do stupid things.  I never have, of course, but other cops have been known to do stupid things.

Point is, cops watch TV, too.  If this is the small-town cop's first chance to make a name for himself in a major case, then he may go "John Wayne" and pull out his gun, howver inadvisable that might be in the situation, because that's what he's seen the big-city cops do on TV.

jae

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2007, 10:15:18 PM »

Hey Jim,

Of course you've never done anything stupid! 

I know cops have to make decisions in the blink of an eye, considering all the factors. It's not a job I'd want, but I'm sure glad somebody does!

I'll have to see if I can tone it down a little and not have him go "John Wayne". The cop character has a chance to do that at the final showdown scene, anyway.

Thank you so much for all your help with my string of questions.

Jae 
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ikeriker

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Re: Jurisdiction questions
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2014, 07:21:12 PM »

A couple of questions.

1.  Can an officer from one town arrest somebody who is a murder suspect in his town if he sees him/her in another town?

2.   If a county officer takes a suspect in for questioning, can the suspect be transferred to the jail in the town where the crime was committed?

Okay, now I've got three questions...

3.   How long does it take to process a suspect?

Thanks for any help,

Jae
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