1. #1
    mpc
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    Don't leave town

    How much legal weight does the order "Don't leave town" have, when given by a police officer? I don't know of any actual incidences of this occurring other than on TV, but if a person was involved in something serious enough to elicit that remark (e.g. a witness to a crime or involved in a self defense situation), and had plans to travel for a few days, would someone have to legally obey the officer or can that kind of order only come from the courts? Do officers even give this order in real life?

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    I usually give the opposite order.."Leave my city now and if i ever see you back, I will arrest you"
    I will tell witnesses that they may be needed for court but if so, they will get a subpeona in the mail. I dont think Ive ever given the order
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    Retired Sergeant - CHP
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    I am with Crass Cop on this one. Never told anyone not to leave town; but, told a lot to get out of town. I think that phrase was used years ago when transportation was sparse and towns were long distances from one-another. Never heard anyone use the phrase except in the movies.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

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    .................
    Last edited by jhall; 06-05-2010 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Not LEO
    Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none

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    Pretty much a" Hollywood" thing. Rather like the move/tv cops racking a round into the chamber before the big fire fight. I'm a big fan of the old "Film Noir" type flics. I hear "Don't leave town" quite often, and have always get a laugh out of it.

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    I live in a small town as it is. Nooooobody leaves town without everyone here knowing. I have told people that I may need to contact them further and just ensure that I can get a hold of them.

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    Ya know I wonder if I actually started telling people that I really wanted out of the city "don't leave town" if they'd high tail it out as fast as they could.....I'm going to have to try that next time I have the opportunity LOL

  8. #8
    I work for peanuts.
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    Like the first two responders, if I say anything along those lines, I will be telling someone to get the hell out of my town. If they want to leave town and ignore a subpoena or something of that nature, then I'll just pick them up on their FTA warrant when they decide to come back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpc View Post
    How much legal weight does the order "Don't leave town" have, when given by a police officer? I don't know of any actual incidences of this occurring other than on TV, but if a person was involved in something serious enough to elicit that remark (e.g. a witness to a crime or involved in a self defense situation), and had plans to travel for a few days, would someone have to legally obey the officer or can that kind of order only come from the courts? Do officers even give this order in real life?
    Only in the movies.

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    An LEO telling someone not to 'leave town' holds zippy legal weight. If there's enough PC present, a suspect is simply taken into custody and/or a warrant sought. If they are a 'person of interest', it may be suggested to them they 'remain available' but again, that would have no legal standing to prevent them from going wherever they wanted. Should the person take off and subsequent information is gained to obtain a warrant, the issue of them leaving the area might be introduced in court as circumstantial evidence but until formal charges are brought, such a person has no legal obligation to stick around (ie. they make bond pending trial - then they're obligated to remain in the state unless allowed by the Court to go elsewhere so long as they return when needed).

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  11. #11
    jakflak
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    Quote Originally Posted by crass cop View Post
    I usually give the opposite order.."Leave my city now and if i ever see you back, I will arrest you"
    +1

    I never view it as a bad thing when one of my 'regular customers' leaves. He'll be someone else's problem for awhile. If I eventually have enough to arrest him he'll have a warrant waiting for him when he returns. Either way problem solved.

  12. #12
    It's Complicated
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    There are many times I wish I could tell my troublemakers to leave town!
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



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  13. #13
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    When I was both in the military and a DoD policeman, we could give that valid order as stating DO NOT LEAVE THE BASE.
    I don't work - I merely inflict myself upon the public.

  14. #14
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    "Don't leave town. If I get three more, I'll have the complete set!"
    Sure, that badge will get you midgets, but those midgets will get that badge!

    The more I learn about people, the more I prefer the company of my dogs.

  15. #15
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    "Don't leave town!" is just an old TV/movie thing.

    Makes me think about the time, as a rookie, I went to the Watch Commander and wanted to, "hold someone as a material witness." Dear G-d, I was so stupid at times.

    Departmentally, though, time and an improved respect for people's rights made us stop bringing down tons of (often unwilling) people to the station and holding them for hours while awaiting homicide detectives to interview them.
    "Many times, I have thoughts and feelings which can only be expressed through dance!" - Bender, Futurama

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