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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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When can a sherriff in north carolina start an investigation

Customer Question

When can a sherriff in north carolina start an investigation for a crime not committed in his county? If it was not started by a judicial officer of the county committed... Is there a general statute
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 4 years ago.

What is the nature of the investigation?

Please explain the circumstances.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

a crimenal investigation into a misdeanor that happened in beufort count and with an hour a pitt county deputy was at my residence in pitt county. the next day awarrent was issued ant the deputy wanted me to have it served in pitt county but i went to beufort to the magistrate who the contated the local police and had it served.

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry but I have no idea what happened where so I will opt out and allow the other experts to review your question.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
The statute in NC regarding jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies is NC Gen. Statutes 15A-402, which states in pertinent part:

(b) Territorial Jurisdiction of County and City Officers. Law‑enforcement officers of cities and counties may arrest persons within their particular cities or counties and on any property and rights‑of‑way owned by the city or county outside its limits.

(c) City Officers, Outside Territory. Law‑enforcement officers of cities may arrest persons at any point which is one mile or less from the nearest point in the boundary of such city. Law enforcement officers of cities may transport a person in custody to or from any place within the State for the purpose of that person attending criminal court proceedings. While engaged in the transportation of persons for the purpose of attending criminal court proceedings, law enforcement officers of cities may arrest persons at any place within the State for offenses occurring in connection with and incident to the transportation of persons in custody.

(d) County and City Officers, Immediate and Continuous Flight. Law‑enforcement officers of cities and counties may arrest persons outside the territory described in subsections (b) and (c) when the person arrested has committed a criminal offense within that territory, for which the officer could have arrested the person within that territory, and the arrest is made during such person's immediate and continuous flight from that territory.

(e) County Officers, Outside Territory, for Felonies. Law‑enforcement officers of counties may arrest persons at any place in the State of North Carolina when the arrest is based upon a felony committed within the territory described in subsection (b). For purposes of this subsection, law enforcement officers of counties shall include all officers of consolidated county‑city law enforcement agencies.


Thus, the sheriff in Pitt County, may serve a warrant from Beaufort County, but the Pitt County Sheriff may not actually investigate or prosecute a crime that happened in another county. They can only assist Beaufort County in their investigation, since the crime allegedly occurred in Beaufort.



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