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March 30, 2012

If a police officer from one jurisdiction makes an arrest outside of that jurisdiction, the arrest can be quashed and the evidence suppressed, which usually results in charges being dismissed. The exclusionary rule applies where police effectuate an extraterritorial arrest without appropriate statutory authority. For example, where Chicago police officers arrest a defendant in a neighboring village, without the assistance of local police, the search and seizure of the defendant may be unlawful. In this example, the Chicago police officers who effectuated the arrest lacked official police authority to arrest a defendant and the arrest cannot be legitimized as a private citizen’s arrest. In People v. Lahr 147 Ill.2d 379, 589 N.E.2d 539 (1992), the court affirmed the judgments of the lower courts suppressing evidence the police obtained during the course of an extraterritorial arrest.  Outside his jurisdiction, a police officer’s right to arrest is no greater than that of a private citizen. Id. at 382.

An extraterritorial arrest will not be upheld if in making the arrest the officer uses the powers of his office to obtain evidence not available to private citizens. Id. at 383. An arresting officer uses the powers of his office where he is on-duty and wearing a uniform and badge. “Powers of the office” include the use of police computers, databases, police radios, and police vehicles.  If police use the powers of their office to obtain evidence not available to private citizens, that type of assertion of police authority is unlawful.

If these issues apply to your situation, contact John McNamara for help.