Legal Question in Criminal Law in Minnesota

Can a police officer follow and pull over in a different jurisdiction

I was pulled over for having a headlight out. However, the officer followed my car for about a mile and a half before pulling me over. When he pulled me over, I was in a different city. After he pulled me over, he found that my license had been revoked and gave me a citation for driving after revocation. Can I contest the driving after revocation charge due to the fact that he was in a different city when the discovery took place? I was not speeding or evading him in any way and he did not turn on his lights until after we were in a different city.

Asked on 1/20/03, 1:34 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Derek Patrin Meaney & Patrin, P.A.

Re: Can a police officer follow and pull over in a different jurisdiction

A police officer has a lot of latitude to leave his jurisdiction if he is acting within the scope of his duties at the time. The typical case usually involves an officer in some type of "hot pursuit" of someone, but that did not seem to happen in your case. If you raise this defense, saying that the cop was not within the scope and course of his regular duties by leaving his jurisdction, the cop will most likely have some kind of response to it (your car looked suspicious so he was tailing you for awhile, he was on his way to some other official place, etc.). However, you should definitely raise the defense to the prosecutor, either by yourself or through an attorney, because the prosecutor may give you a better deal in exchange for not having to combat your defense.

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Answered on 1/21/03, 10:08 am

Thomas C. Gallagher Gallagher Criminal Defense Services

Re: Can a police officer follow and pull over in a different jurisdiction

While this sort of defense has been effective in the past at times, under certain circumstances, it has been only exceedingly rarely. Depending upon the facts of your situation, chances are slim that this defense will be effective, however it may still be worth further research and investigation before ruling it out.

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Answered on 1/20/03, 1:56 pm

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