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Interstate Fresh Pursuit Uniform Act

Vegas Defense Lawyer descibes When Out-of-State Officials Can Make Nevada Arrests in Nevada Under Chapter 171

Interstate Fresh Pursuit Uniform ActWithin the criminal justice system, every state has its own penal or criminal code and every state has its own system of courts and police to maintain order and ensure the laws are followed.  A defendant who commits a criminal act in Nevada, for example, will usually be arrested by police in Nevada and will usually face trial in Nevada criminal court- even if the defendant actually lives somewhere else outside of the state.

There are, however, some limited exceptions to this rule.  If you fall within the exception and face arrest in a state you do not live in, you need to ensure that you contact a local attorney right away to get help. It can be a major hassle to be required to return to court in a different state to deal with criminal charges you face. LV Criminal Defense aims to reduce the burden on you, and to try to keep you out of jail and help you avoid a guilty verdict. Our Las Vegas criminal defense team is ready to get started fighting to protect your rights if you face arrest, so give us a call now. We have extensive experience representing both clients who live locally within Nevada as well as visitor arrested while in Las Vegas.

How the Interstate Fresh Pursuit Uniform Act Affects Your Rights

The state of Nevada has adopted the Interstate Fresh Pursuit Uniform Act to establish rules for when law enforcement from another state can arrest someone within Nevada’s borders. The Interstate Fresh Pursuit Uniform Act is codified in Nevada Revised Statutes Sections 171.154 through 171.164.

N.R.S. 171.158 stipulates that any member of a peace unit organized by a state, county, or municipality, can have authority to make an arrest of a defendant in Nevada. A member of a duly organized peace unit can make such an arrest if he or she is in “fresh pursuit” of a defendant and continues that pursuit across state lines.

Authorities from another state cannot make an arrest in Nevada, even if they are in fresh pursuit, unless the person to be arrested is believed to have committed a felony within the other state. If the defendant is believed to have committed a felony, the peace officer from the state where the crime was allegedly committed will have all of the same rights as Nevada authorities do to arrest the suspected felon.

Once a defendant is arrested on felony charges by a peace officer from another state who was in fresh pursuit, the peace officer must take the arrested individual before a magistrate in the county where the arrest took place. This must occur with no unnecessary delays.

The magistrate will preside over a hearing to determine if the arrest was a lawful one. If the arrest was lawful, the defendant will be kept in custody for a reasonable time to allow the Governor of the state where the crime took place to issue an extradition warrant. Depending upon the nature of the alleged crime, the magistrate may set bail for the defendant instead of keeping him incarcerated., but the defendant would still be subject to an extradition warrant.  If it is determined the arrest was not a lawful one, the person who was arrested must be discharged.

What is Fresh Pursuit?

The common law definition of fresh pursuit is adopted within Nevada’s laws allowing arrest of someone the police are in fresh pursuit of. Fresh pursuit generally means actively pursuing a person who committed a felony, or actively pursuing someone who there is probable and reasonable cause to believe broke the law and committed a felony offense.

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Arrest in Another State

Nevada is not the only state in the United States that has a law allowing for an arrest in another location by a peace officer who is in fresh pursuit. Many other jurisdictions throughout the U.S. also have statutes allowing foreign police officers to come into a state to make an arrest of someone they are in fresh pursuit of. For example, Iowa addresses the authority of officers from another state in Code Section 806.1 and Michigan addresses fresh pursuit in Code Section 780.101.

It is important to understand how these laws can shape your rights. If you are accused of committing a crime in neighboring California or Oregon and you cross into Nevada, a peace officer from the state where a felony offense was allegedly committed could come into Nevada, if the officer is actively in fresh pursuit of you.  You could then be arrested in Nevada, and the peace officer from California or Oregon would have to take you before a Las Vegas magistrate.

The Nevada magistrate would make a decision on whether the arrest was lawful or not. If the arrest was unlawful, you could go- but of course could still be arrested if you crossed back over into the state where the crime was allegedly committed.  If the magistrate determined the arrest was lawful, you could be held in custody in Las Vegas or released on bail until the Governor of the state where the crime allegedly took place arranged for your extradition. You’d then be transported, while in custody, to the state where the crime allegedly occurred so you could stand trial.

Likewise, if you are arrested in a different state and an officer from Nevada is in fresh pursuit of you, that Nevada peace officer could follow you across state lines, and could arrest you as long as the officer followed the laws of the state you fled to. You could then be extradited back to Nevada to stand trial.

Getting Help from an Experienced Attorney

At LV Criminal Defense, we can help you to argue against extradition or can defend you if you are accused of breaking any Nevada laws. Call as soon as possible after an arrest to speak with a Las Vegas criminal attorney who can help you to understand your rights and fight arrest or criminal charges.

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