Do police have to stop chasing you at the border?

In Cecil’s article Who’s the boss, city cops, state cops, or the Feds? he mentions the following:

I thought there was some allowance for ‘hot pursuit’ in the law that would allow (say) an Illinois cop to chase you to California and back if they so chose. As long as the chase started in Illinois the Illinois cop can follow the suspect anywhere. The reasoning behind this, of course, is to make sure the bad guys don’t get away merely by crossing an imaginary line somewhere.

As a practical matter I expect an Illinois cop would radio ahead to the local police of the state about to be entered to get them in on the action. Still, till they show-up and take over the chase Mr. Illinois cop can stay hot on your tail.

As for arresting the perp I’m not sure what would happen if the Illinois cop managed to lay hands on the bad guy in a different state. Does the cop become a regular citizen once in the other state or can he/she still arrest people in a circumstance like this (I suppose they could always do a citizen’s arrest and wait for the local cops if nothing else)?

Being an Illinois resident, I was taught in Driver’s Ed. that you can be persued across a border as long as the chase started before the border (the officer must have his lights on). I seem to remember this was for persuit across municipalities, not necessarily state borders. I’m sure in the interest of ‘justice’ there is some agreement between the states. Anyone have any specifics on this? How about when crossing country borders? I believe you cannot be persued across a national border. Hence, runnin’ to Mexico (though Canada is closer for midwesterners)

I was pulled over by an Illinois State trooper a good twenty minutes after crossing into Wisconsin once. I was issued a stern warning, but no ticket. I decided not to ask the trooper if he had any legal right to pull me over, since I figured he could contact someone who did pretty easily, and my license was suspended at the time. Actually, he never ran a check on it, so perhaps he was simply getting me to reduce my speed on pure bullsh*t and attitude.

Driving in Illinois as a teenager some years ago, a city police car started following me as I drove home. The cop followed me for a good 5 minutes as I carefully went the speed limit. I finally reached the entrance to Fort Sheridan (the Army post where I lived), put on a turn signal, and applied my brakes as I made the turn. The cop instantly turned on his lights, but I was already on the Army post. The gate guard stopped me, told me to sit put, and went to speak to the cop. Turns out that my brake lights were not working and the cop was waiting for me to make a stop or a turn to confirm his suspicion.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I and the cop were both now sitting on a federal reservation, where the cop had no jurisdiction. The cop tried to argue to the Army gate guard that he was in “hot pursuit” but the sympathetic (to me) guard said that no lights or sirens had come on until I was already on the post. He basically told the cop to pack sand. I was allowed to proceed to my home on the post, with the advice from the gate guard that I’d better get the brake lights fixed before venturing off the post. :slight_smile:

I can vouch for this. Years ago, a Sheriff from Texas chased me all the way to Atlanta. I was in my Trans-Am running blocker for my friend, Cletus, who was driving his eighteen-wheeler full of Coors beer to a Nascar race (Coors was illegal East of the Mississippi back then).
It wouldn’ta’ been no trouble at all if I hadn’t’ve picked up this girl hitchhiker in a wedding dress.
Turns out that this runaway bride was running away from the sheriff’s son, and hoo boy was the dad mad.
Well, heck. That dude chased me all the way to Atlanta but with the help of fellow truckers, inbreds rednecks, and truckstop whores, I shook him, so he never did catch us.
I ended up shacking up with that girl for quite some time.

I hope this helps with your question.

That last post hurts my head.


Anybody else think [Roscoe P. Coltrane voice] “Hot pur-suit, hot pur-suit! Gugook, gook, gook.” [/Roscoe P. Coltrane voice]

YMMV on the laugh sound.

The police do not always have to obey the laws…:frowning:

I grew up in a border town and I worked for a county district attorney for a few months. From what I was always told HOT-perSOOT rules apply. IRL more than once I have seen Arkansas cops pulling over people people on the Texas side of state line for violations that happened in Arkansas and vice-versa.

NP: Sentenced - The Cold White Light

There is a specific law authorizing and regulating “hot pursuit” in Illinois (contra Vanilla :rolleyes: ), 725 ILCS 5/107-4. Actually, Illinois calls it “fresh pursuit” (same difference) and defines it as “the immediate pursuit of a person who is endeavoring to avoid arrest.” The law essentially provides that:

(1) any Illinois peace officer (city, county, or state) can question people and make arrests anywhere in the state if the officer is either investigating a crime from his home jurisdiction or the officer “becomes personally aware of the immediate commission” of a crime.

(2) The local law enforcement agency has to be notified of such arrests “immediately”.

(3) A peace officer of another state in fresh pursuit for a crime alleged to be committed in the other state has the same arrest authority as Illinois peace officers.

(4) People arrested in Illinois by non-Illinois peace officers must be taken “without unnecessary delay” before the circuit
court of the county where the arrest occurred. The court must “conduct a hearing for the purpose of determining the lawfulness of the arrest.”

Leon Phelps, you’re my new hero.

LOL :smiley:

And it was your first post too. I hope you stay…


It actually wasn’t illegal per se, they just didn’t sell it there. Due to alcohol sales regulations in various states, it may have been illegal to sell, however.

i think leon phelps borrowed a little of his story from smokey and the bandit. is everyone reading this message board under the age of 30, or been living in some country where they don’t play it 20 times a year on tv? it’s a good story, though “leon”, and you’re my hero, too!

Oh, most of the folks here recognized it, alright. That’s why they liked the post so much.
And, re Coors, I thought it was illegal to sell east of the Mississippi at one point because it wasn’t preserved in a particular way or something. I’m a non-drinker, though, so I never paid it much attention.

I could be wrong, but I thought they were being chased for bootlegging - illegally transporting alcohol across state lines.

(not to mention speeding, reckless driving, breaking and entering, etc :slight_smile: )

Coors was never illegal anywhere in the U.S. Coors did not distribute their beer west of the Mississippi, and it’s illegal for private citizens to transport alcohol for sale across state lines–taxes and all that. Coors didn’t distribute more than a day away from their brewery, ostensibly because it wasn’t pasteurized and had to be kept cold, but I suspect it was really because they didn’t have the capacity to supply the eastern half of the country. That, and it made a good marketing gimmick.