Q: can an off duty cop from a neighboring county detain me and run my name then search me? Isn't that an illegal search?
the cop was on his way home and just happened to live in the neighborhood, a couple blocks from my house. when he ran my name it came back that i had a warrant out of another county (neither the county that i was in or the county that the cop was from). when it came back that i had a warrant he then placed me in handcuffs and searched me, then finding a full clip to a firearm in my back pocket. i was placed in the back of his patrol car and he called local law enforcement who searched my backpack finding a firearm. i was booked into the county jail for the warrant from another county and unlawful possession of a firearm 1. do i have a fighting chance at getting it dismissed?
The easy answer...It depends. A licensed law enforcement officer is authorized to perform their duties even when they’re off duty. These cases are highly factually specific. It depends upon the contact that was made and the situation that surrounded that initial contact. So when that officer ran your name and discovered a warrant, they have an obligation to make sure you were the correct person, determine whether or not it was a valid warrant and if so arrest you.
The fact that the warrant was out of a different county probably doesn't matter as law enforcement officers are able to enforce orders out of other jurisdictions. (For example... if the officer was out of Benton, you were in Franklin and the warrant was out of Adams, the officer can still enforce the law.) Based upon that arrest, the officer does have the right to search your person incident to arrest.
You may have an argument depending upon the circumstances surrounding the contact and the search of your backpack. Again, these cases are very factually specific. If it was a bad contact, then all evidence could be tossed. You should talk to an attorney regarding the facts you have provided and the officer's report. There may be some issues in your case that a skilled attorney can help you with on your case.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.