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Police Must Stay Within Jurisdictions When Making Arrests

Late in June, the Georgia Supreme Court made a ruling that could stop police officers from arresting people for traffic violations outside of their own jurisdictions.

The high court unanimously overturned a ruling by the Court of Appeals. In their ruling, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the DUI arrest of Bajrodin Zilke was invalid. According to records, the arrest was made after a Kennesaw State University police officer stopped the man more than 500 feet from campus. In other words: outside of his jurisdiction.

On that occasion, Officer Decari Mason was returning to campus after completing other duties for the department. He noticed Zilke driving erratically on Powder Springs Road. Zilke was also driving without headlights. Mason initiated a traffic stop and observed Zilke to have the appearance of a person under the influence of alcohol.

The decision made by the appellate court cited a 1984 case that determined that officers could make traffic stops outside of their jurisdiction if the infraction occurred in plain sight of the officer. The high court disagreed. Justice Robert Benham’s opinion stated that the ability of officers to arrest people outside of their jurisdiction did not apply to custodial arrests.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in DeKalb County in a similar situation to Mr. Zilke, we are here for you. Call the team at Hawkins Spizman Fortas today for a free case evaluation and let us advise you of the options you have based upon your unique situation. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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