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Out-of-County Enforcement: Serving Warrants & Making Arrests

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Quarterly Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Dated: Summer 2001 Pages: 30-32
Marty Martins
Date Published
3 pages
This article examines legal issues in the serving of search warrants and making arrests outside of the involved police agency's jurisdiction.
When the target location for a search warrant is only a county or two away from the county jurisdiction of the police agency desiring the warrant, a warrant may be obtained in the agency's own county. A judge in San Diego County, for example, can authorize a search of a house in any of the other 57 counties in California. The only requirement is that the crime must be prosecutable in the county where the authorizing judge is located. There is no requirement, however, that the crime actually be filed or prosecuted in that county, only that it could be. It is advisable to cite the applicable case law in the search warrant affidavit. Regarding arrests in a jurisdiction other than that of the arresting officer, procedures differ depending on whether it is a probable-cause field arrest or an arrest pursuant to a warrant. In the case of a probable-cause arrest, the arrestee may be taken immediately to a detention facility in the arresting officer's jurisdiction; however, the prisoner must "without unnecessary delay, be taken before the nearest or most accessible magistrate in the county in which the crime is triable." In the case of an arrest in another jurisdiction pursuant to a warrant, the defendant must be informed in writing of his/her right to be taken before a magistrate in the county where the warrant was served. There must be a note on the arrest warrant that the defendant has been so informed; and if the defendant requests it, he/she must be taken before a magistrate in the county where the arrest was made.