Can You Avoid Arrest If You Get Across The State Line?

12 April 2021
 Categories: , Blog


You may have seen a movie where the suspect gets away by speeding across the state line and the pursuing officer has to stop. Does this actually work? Here's what you need to know.

Can the Police Chase You Across a State Line?

The answer to whether the police can chase you across a state line is actually usually "yes." Police departments near state borders will usually have an agreement with the department on the other side. This gives them the authority to continue a traffic chase even if it started in one state and led into another.

In addition, the police will usually call ahead to the state you're headed to. The local police department will try to have police officers waiting to join the chase as soon as you cross into the new state.

What If the Police Aren't Allowed to Chase You?

There may be states that don't have agreements with each other or who don't allow police chases for certain offenses. In that case, the police may not be able to continue their pursuit.

This doesn't mean that you've gotten away free, though. The police that chased you will usually get a warrant for your arrest. Depending on the level of the charges, the new state may send police looking for you or arrest you if you ever get pulled over for a traffic violation.

Where Do You Get Charged and Go to Court If You Cross Into a New State?

If you cross into a new state, you could face charges in both state. The original state will charge you with the original offense plus charges connected to the chase. The new state may also add on charges for the part of the chase that happened in their state.

If you're only charged in the original state, you'll usually be taken to the new state's jail. The original state will ask that you be held and extradited back to the original state. You could possibly get out on bail, but this is hard to do after you've ran from the police.

If you have charges in both states, the states will negotiate over which state will hold you. This may be the state with the more serious charges or the new state may charge and try you quickly to finish that case before sending you back to the original state.

To learn more about what happens when you cross a state line, contact a local criminal lawyer today.