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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    2

    Default Speeding Tickets and Police Jurisdiction

    I was ticketed for speeding by a city cop with a laser who had set up his surveillance on a hill outside of his city and county of jurisdiction. It gave him a clear view of my vehicle which was approaching in the distance and allegedly in his city. When I reached his location (he was on the opposite side of the road) he made a U-turn and pulled me over. He never left the city/county in which he was set up and that city/county was not his.

    My question is: can a police officer set up a surveillance outside of his jurisdiction to catch people who speed in his jurisdiction. I could be argued that I was actually clocked after crossing the county line, making his entire operation out of county. This was in the State of California,

    JB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Speeding Tickets and Police Jurisdiction

    Quote Quoting jbviolin
    My question is: can a police officer set up a surveillance outside of his jurisdiction to catch people who speed in his jurisdiction. I could be argued that I was actually clocked after crossing the county line, making his entire operation out of county. This was in the State of California
    In CA law enforcement officers have jurisdiction throughout the state. If this was the CA Highway Patrol, they have primary jurisdiction on any highway and rural roadway throughout the state. For local law enforcement, primary jurisdiction will be their political subdivision (county, city, or other entity).

    As long as the officer can testify that the violation occurred in the county where the defendant is being prosecuted, then that should be sufficient. It is not a difficult argument to make that if you were doing 75 in a 45 on one side of the county line that you were moving the same speed a few feet later on the other side. Also, officers that are trained in radar or lidar are also trained in visual estimation.

    Yes, there COULD be an argument made that the violation occurred in the other county and thus the county you are prosecuted in does no have jurisdiction ... but this would generally require the officer to testify that he observed you commit the violation in the other jurisdiction and not within HIS jurisdiction.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: Speeding Tickets and Police Jurisdiction

    Interesting issue of what I would call territorial jurisdiction--I had one similar on appeal in my state years ago. In that case the officer was within his jurisdiction and clocked a vehicle for speeding which was outside of his jurisdiction--a border case so to speak. The officer pursued the vehicle, made the stop, and issued a citation for speeding. The appellate court upheld the trial court's ruling by a tie vote--doesn't get any closer than that. This officer only had jurisdiction in his city but since he observed the violation from there that was good enough for half of the judges--had he been a State Trooper he would have had statewide jurisdiction and there would have been no issue.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    14,947

    Default Re: Speeding Tickets and Police Jurisdiction

    Fortunately, in CA we have jurisdiction throughout the state. Within my county I can cite anywhere in the county even outside my primary jurisdiction. And while I might not be able to WRITE a ticket for a violation in another county, I can make the detention under color of my peace officer status and contact a local officer for the cite.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Speeding Tickets and Police Jurisdiction

    I'm still not getting my exact issue addressed. Let me reword. An officer in the city of Upland, County of San Bernardino, set up to observe traffic in a city (Claremont) and County (Los Angeles) other than his own. In this entire operation, he never entered his own county of jurisdiction which was San Bernardino. It can be argued that he even clocked me in Los Angeles County making his entire operation out of his jurisdiction. Is this legal?

    JB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Speeding Tickets and Police Jurisdiction

    Q: An officer in the city of Upland, County of San Bernardino, set up to observe traffic in a city (Claremont) and County (Los Angeles) other than his own. In this entire operation, he never entered his own county of jurisdiction which was San Bernardino. It can be argued that he even clocked me in Los Angeles County making his entire operation out of his jurisdiction. Is this legal?

    A: Yes. If I am on the moon and spot a traffic infraction in my jurisdiction, I can radio it in and have the perp ticketed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,947

    Default Re: Speeding Tickets and Police Jurisdiction

    Quote Quoting jbviolin
    I'm still not getting my exact issue addressed. Let me reword. An officer in the city of Upland, County of San Bernardino, set up to observe traffic in a city (Claremont) and County (Los Angeles) other than his own. In this entire operation, he never entered his own county of jurisdiction which was San Bernardino. It can be argued that he even clocked me in Los Angeles County making his entire operation out of his jurisdiction. Is this legal?
    If he cites you for a violation he observed you make within a county that he has jurisdiction, he can issue you a citation into his county's court. He cannot issue you a citation into L.A. County, but if he observed you commit the violation (any part of it) within S.B. County, he can issue the citation.

    You can always complain to his supervisors that he is setting up outside the city limits or in another county, but they may already be aware of it. The officer can certainly travel into L.A. County. While he cannot generally cite into L.A. County courts for violations he observes there, he can certainly cite into S.B. County courts for violations he observes that occur within S.B. County while HE is sitting in L.A. County.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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