Local law enforcement officers do not have statewide territorial jurisdiction to arrest. Instead, they generally are authorized to arrest only within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city or county they serve or on property owned by that city or county. See G.S. 15A-402 (discussed in detail here). Exceptions to the general rule permit out-of-jurisdiction arrests based on immediate and continuous flight and in certain other limited circumstances. When a law enforcement officer makes an arrest outside of his or her territorial jurisdiction, the person arrested may move to suppress the evidence resulting from the arrest. How should a court evaluate whether to grant such a motion?
This post reviews what is commonly known as “hot pursuit” of a suspect to make an arrest outside an officer’s territorial jurisdiction. Note, however, that the actual term in G.S. 15A-402(d) is the “immediate and continuous flight” by a suspect from an officer’s territory. Also, although the statute is specifically confined to an officer’s arrest authority, court cases include other law enforcement actions such as investigative stops and searches.
I’ve had several questions recently about the territorial jurisdiction of municipal police in areas outside city limits. This post sums up the law.
Local law enforcement officers have a little bit of extra territorial jurisdiction when it comes to investigating impaired driving. That grant of extra territorial jurisdiction (as opposed to extraterritorial jurisdiction, which city officers already had) was created by the Motor Vehicle Driver Protection Act of 2006 and codified in G.S. 20-38.2. General Rules. G.S. 15A-402 … Read more