Can An Ohio Police Officer Arrest Someone Outside Their Jurisdiction?
Can an Ohio police officer arrest someone outside their jurisdiction? A police officer cannot arrest someone for a crime committed outside of their jurisdictional limits. The question is what their jurisdictional limits are. The state highway patrol and sheriffs or their deputies have the power to make arrests for violations on all state highways, but only for certain listed offenses. Generally, all other police officers are limited to the area they were elected or appointed to serve. Township police officers who are not commissioned peace officers cannot enforce traffic laws on any state highway. Commissioned peace officers serving a township with a population of 50,000 or less cannot exercise their powers on interstate system highways. Out of town officers hired or appointed by the local department have authority in that area for that limited time.
Officers can pursue, arrest and detain someone if the pursuit started within that officer’s jurisdictional limits without unreasonable delay after the offense is committed, the offense is felony, a misdemeanor of the first or second degree, or a traffic offense that can result in points. A sheriff or deputy sheriff can, in certain instances, arrest someone on the part of a street that is next to the county line but in a different county.
These jurisdictional limits can be a defense to failure to comply with order or signal of police officer (fleeing and eluding), if the officer did not comply with all conditions required to make an arrest outside the area the officer was elected or appointed to serve.
Under the old laws, referred to as common law, police officers in Ohio could not make warrantless arrests outside the area they were elected or appointed to serve, unless they were in hot pursuit of a suspected felon fleeing that area. Eventually, the Ohio legislature passed a number of laws designed to address any number of possible situations.
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To read more on Ohio criminal law, click on any of the following links to my other articles related to Ohio criminal law: When the police are in hot pursuit
; Drug trafficking
; Police can make a warrantless stop to give emergency aid
; What do you do when pulled over by the police
; Traffic stops cannot be extended for a drug dog sniff
; Ohio has a unique restriction on traffic stops
; Can the police pull you over based on a tip from another driver
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Note: In 2015, Ohio House Bill 378 was introduced in the Ohio Legislature to remove the distinction between large and small townships when it comes to law enforcement authority. As of the posting of this article, the proposals in Ohio House Bill 378 had not become Ohio law.