Jurisdiction and the Traffic Laws in California?

Ok I need to figure this out. Let just say that If you are driving on the Santa Monica Freeway and you are speeding. Who has the jurisdiction to pull you over and write you a ticket? I know CHP but does LAPD or LASD also have the jurisdiction to do that as well. if you are within their city or county limits?

Same thing question but this time on a city road like Sunset Bl. Does CHP have the jurisdiction to pull you over and write you a ticket? Thanks

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  • John S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Actually, there are jurisdictional boundaries in California, and they do limit the authority of city police officers and county sheriffs. Penal Code section 830.1 says:

    "(a) Any sheriff, undersheriff, or deputy sheriff, employed in that capacity, of a county, any chief of police of a city or chief, director, or chief executive officer of a consolidated municipal public safety agency that performs police functions, any police officer, employed in that capacity and appointed by the chief of police or chief, director, or chief executive of a public safety agency, of a city, any chief of police, or police officer of a district, including police officers of the San Diego Unified Port District Harbor Police, authorized by statute to maintain a police department, any marshal or deputy marshal of a superior court or county, any port warden or port police officer of the Harbor Department of the City of Los Angeles, or any inspector or investigator employed in that capacity in the office of a district attorney, is a peace officer. The authority of these peace officers extends to any place in the state, as follows:

    " (1) As to any public offense committed or which there is probable cause to believe has been committed within the political subdivision that employs the peace officer or in which the peace officer serves.

    " (2) Where the peace officer has the prior consent of the chief of police or chief, director, or chief executive officer of a consolidated municipal public safety agency, or person authorized by him or her to give consent, if the place is within a city or of the sheriff, or person authorized by him or her to give consent, if the place is within a county.

    " (3) As to any public offense committed or which there is probable cause to believe has been committed in the peace officer's presence, and with respect to which there is immediate danger to person or property, or of the escape of the perpetrator of the offense."

    So, legally, a police officer only has the authority of a peace officer within the city where he is employed UNLESS given prior consent to act as a peace officer elsewhere. It is my understanding that almost all adjoining jurisdictions have given mutual consent. He also has the authority of a peace officer if there is danger, or if somebody is escaping (e.g., he has chased somebody into another jurisdiction).

    However, a police officer in another jurisdiction still has the authority of a private citizen to make an arrest, which allows an arrest for any felony the citizen has probable cause to believe has been committed, and any misdemeanor committed in his presence.

    Of course, on the Santa Monica Fwy you will be within the jurisdiction of all three agencies, so CHP, Sheriff, and LAPD officers all have the authority of peace officers without any need for consent or emergency. However, as a practical matter there is another limitation governing whether you will be pulled over for a traffic infraction (as opposed to a misdemeanor like DUI), which is that it is very doubtful that an officer will do so if he does not have a citation book with him.

    Source(s): Cited statute and 30+ years as a criminal defense attorney
  • 1 decade ago

    There are basically no jurisdictional boundaries in California, While there are Primary enforcement areas, i.e. incorporated cities have Police Departments, unincorporated areas have Sheriffs Departments, Unincorporated roadways and all freeways have the CHP. All the agencies have a secondary enforcement area that encompasses the entire state.

    So basically any peace officer in California can write you a ticket, anywhere in California. As every Superior court has a different court schedule, they try to keep in their own county as a rule.

  • 1 decade ago

    Any peace officer under PC section 830.1 can stop you and cite you. The CHP's primary jurisdiction are the highways. LAPD and LASO can stop you as well. CHP are actually State Traffic Officers. If you are committing an offense (speeding) and a cop sees it they can stop you. Sunset Bl is a city street and you will mostly see LAPD (Hollywood Division) or you may see LASO (West Hollywood), it jsut depends on where you are, but, yes, any of them can stop you.

    Source(s): Law enforcement background
  • 1 decade ago

    I may be wrong, but I don't think city police can pull you over on a highway for a traffic violation (only for misdemeanor or felony violations). I think only CHP can give you a speeding ticket on the highway.

    next, in the city, there are some city streets that fall under the jurisdiction of CHP. I don't know about sunset blvd since I don't live it the south of CA but I would not think it does.

    Again, I may be wrong.

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  • 6 years ago

    As advised earlier, Penal Code 830.1 cites conditional jurisdiction and NOT territorial jurisdiction. Both of the terms used, "political subdivision" and "county", rest upon political affiliation and the resulting contractual obligation and not geographical boundaries other than outlined voting districts. The answer is much more involved than you've led to believe.

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