Can Police Officer Stop Driver for DUI Out of His Jurisdiction in Florida?

In just about all criminal cases in Florida, a person will be arrested by a member of law enforcement who is properly working in that jurisdiction. For instance, if a person is speeding in Duval County (which is in Jacksonville) Florida and a police officer plans to make a traffic stop and possibly conduct a DUI investigation, the driver will likely be stopped by a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officer. If a person commits a theft in Orange Park, Florida, he/she will likely be arrested by a member of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. There are exceptions, of course. The Florida Highway Patrol has jurisdiction all over the state so an FHP officer might stop a person in any city or county in Florida. Additionally, if a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office officer sees a person commit a crime in Duval County/Jacksonville and there is a car chase that goes north into Nassau County, the JSO officer will not likely stop at the county line and let the suspect get away. Of course, Nassau County police officers will become involved once the suspect gets into Nassau County.

There are other examples where a police officer can make an arrest for a crime outside of his/her jurisdiction. There is something in Florida called a Mutual Assistance Agreement between police agencies whereby police agencies can have their officers assist the others by formal agreement. If there is a proper Mutual Assistance Agreement, a police officer can make an arrest for DUI or other crimes if the police officer is complying with the Agreement. After such an arrest, the state has the burden of proving that the arrest was in compliance with the Mutual Assistance Agreement. The state has to actually present the formal agreement in court, prove that the agreement was in effect at the time of the arrest and prove that the police officer strictly complied with the terms of the agreement. If the state does not prove each of those elements, the arrest and any evidence obtained as a result of the arrest by the out of jurisdiction officer will likely be inadmissible. However, if the state can prove these elements, the fact that the police officer was out of his/her jurisdiction would likely have no effect on the state’s case.

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