Orange County PD flash their lights at you just a few traffic signals away from the border of Putnam County. Do you pull over or gun it so that cops can’t chase you over county lines? It sounds tempting to try to get away, but would it work? Can police chase you and issue a speeding ticket outside their jurisdiction?
What Are Police Jurisdictions?
The number of jurisdictions for law enforcement in New York (and most states) is staggering. According to the most recent census data, New York State has 514 law enforcement agencies. There are state troopers, county police, and city cops (e.g. NYPD), just to name a few. Each jurisdiction provides a primary mission for police—to protect the residents and enforce the laws of that region. However, while a police department’s jurisdiction provides a focus, it is not meant to cripple or incapacitate officers who witness illegal actions, be it a violent crime or traffic violation. In New York, any police officer with the authority to issue a ticket or make an arrest can do so anywhere in the state as long as there are grounds for the charges.
If that’s the case, why have jurisdictions at all? There are several reasons. One is budgetary. Each police department is given an annual budget for upholding the law and protecting individuals within a jurisdiction. While it is legal and acceptable for police to enforce the laws anywhere within the state, if this occurs too often it may be seen as a misappropriation of funds that could result in budget cuts for the department that is routinely overstepping its jurisdiction.
Another reason for jurisdictions is accountability. For example, if the State Troopers and NYPD are both issuing traffic tickets in NYC—as has been happening lately—it can create questions of who gets credit if traffic violations decline, or who to blame if an emergency call gets ignored.
Is a Speeding Ticket Issued Outside of Jurisdiction Easier to Defend?
From a legal standpoint, it makes no difference. That means a speeding ticket issued by Highway Patrol on local roads is just as valid as one issued on a highway. The same goes if an NYPD officer stops you after you’ve crossed the Queens/Nassau border. In some contiguous states, like Connecticut, it is permissible for police in either state to cross state lines to pursue you for speeding or other traffic violations.
How Should You Fight a Speeding Ticket Issued Outside a Cops Jurisdiction?
If you’ve been issued a ticket for speeding or any other moving violation in New York, regardless of jurisdiction, you need expert legal counsel right away. The attorneys of the Rosenblum Law Firm have experience fighting traffic tickets in nearly all jurisdictions across New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.