Legal Question in Criminal Law in Ohio

Can a wildlife officer pull you over out of his jurisdiction

Asked on 6/19/13, 5:53 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Eric Willison Law Office of Eric E. Willison

In Ohio, there is a statute which sets up the jurisdiction of various law enforcement agencies and it prohibits exercises of authority outside of the jurisdiction unless the officer saw you commit a crime inside his jurisdiction and then followed you and pulled you over (even if he is outside his jurisdiction).

But if the officer saw you commit a crime outside his jurisdiction and pulled you over for that crime outside his jurisdiction, then that would be a violation of the statute. However, the problem is that violations of statutes (unless they specifically call for suppression of evidence upon violation) do not require suppression of evidence. Violations of you constitutional rights only get this remedy.

There is one argument you might make though. The Ohio rules of evidence state that a police officer is incompetent to testify if he is primarily on traffic duty and not in a clearly marked police car and in the "uniform of the day". While the park ranger may well have been wearing the "uniform of the day" for the park, he is likely not in the uniform of the day for the jurisdiction in which he pulled you over.

So you would need to make a motion to suppress, ask the ranger if, when he pulled you over he was primarily on traffic duty, and if he was, ask him if he was wearing the uniform of the day for the jurisdiction in which he pulled you over.

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Answered on 6/20/13, 4:18 pm

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