Can a Police Officer in Florida Make an Arrest outside His/Her Jurisdiction?

In Florida, police officers are supposed to make arrests only within their own jurisdiction. For instance, a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officer is not permitted to make an arrest for a crime that takes place in Clay County or St. Augustine, Florida. However, there is an exception to the rule in cases where the police officer is in “fresh pursuit” that causes him/her to leave his jurisdiction to go into another city or county.

The fresh pursuit law allows a police officer to pursue a person who has committed a felony or misdemeanor crime, a county or city ordinance violation or certain traffic violations into another jurisdiction to make an arrest or traffic stop. The law also allows the police to chase a person who is only suspected of committing a felony into another jurisdiction. The police officer is then allowed to detain and arrest the suspect in that other jurisdiction. Once the arrest outside the jurisdiction is made, the police officer must immediately notify the appropriate police officer in the particular county or city where the arrest was made.

In order for the fresh pursuit law to be applicable, the police officer must actually be chasing the suspect into the next jurisdiction without any delays. If the police officer believes the suspect has committed a crime, ordinance violation or traffic violation and merely follows the suspect without trying to pull the suspect over in his/her jurisdiction, the police officer cannot go into another jurisdiction to make the arrest because it is not a fresh pursuit.

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