On a limited but sizeable number of owi fact patterns that have occured over the years, one area of questioning often scoffed at by lawyers are people’s thoughts in regard to the dismissal of cases on a jurisdictional angle.
People who have been arrested for drunk driving often question the county court they may find themself in as not in synch with the believed authority of the particular police agency or officer who effectuated a given owi arrest.
For example, during the pre trial proceedings of a drunk driving prosecution, a client has a legitimate right to question how a police officer from a neighboring county is permitted to play a role in an arrest and case prosecution not within his or her jurisdiction.
To most among the general public educated through crime dramas on television or movie depictions of arrest procedure, the given authority of a police agency or individual officer to conduct a lawful arrest has grown increasingly important.
In an age where people have become empowered through a recognition of their civil liberties as never before they want to understand the authority of any and all individuals who may have played a part in their arrest.
In this, the internet age, people have been able to become educated and empowered to both recognize and assert individual protections against those police officers who they believe may have overstepped their bounds and authority.
When undertaking proper police procedure that will hold up in court, the lawful authority of a specified police agency to undertake a criminal arrest is often the focal point of legal attack. This authority usually centers around legal issues concentrating upon probable cause for an arrest where a judicial warrant is legally required.
However, unlike criminal cases that are made as a result of reasoned and considered investigation over the course of time, the ongoing real time pursuit of an alleged intoxicated motorist capable of traversing multiple county jurisdictions has allowed for recognized exceptions to the juridictional authority of law enforcment to make dui arrests.
No matter the county where an arrest is ultimately conducted, judicially noted risk to the welfare of the public at large have allowed for dui patrolmen to play a role in apprehending individuals suspected of impaired driving activity irrespective of county status.
To find otherwise would be to legally sanction a motorist’s desire to race to cross the county line in a state of intoxication in an effort to thwart the ability of a county officer to apprehend the individual suspected of illegal conduct.
While the best police procedure is often the immediate communication to bordering county officials during the ongoing police pursuit of suspected drunk driving activity, such communication does not allow for the pursuing officer to abdicate his or her responsibility to continue with an attempt to stop a suspected drunk driver on the basis that the driver has entered another jurisdiction.
Where multiple county jurisdictions have been involved within an alleged drunk driving case prosecution it is most often the county where the driver was actually apprehended where the prosecution will commence. In so doing, any and all witnesses, no matter the location, are legally permitted to present testimony to support a basis for probable cause for the ultimate arrest and prosecution of the motorist in question.
However, should the alleged drunk driver leave the scene of one county where injury or death may have occured to another, the eventual destination of the apprehension of such a driver does not and will not serve as a legal impedement to prosecuting such a driver for the more serious crime in another jurisdiction that occurred during the course of the complete driving episode.