Hot Pursuit Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Hot Pursuit, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Hot Pursuit?

(n) Hot Pursuit is the chasing of a suspect when they escape the scene of crime or flees away to avoid legal actions from Law enforcement authority. In Hot Pursuit a suspect can be arrested even without a warrant

History and Meaning of Hot Pursuit

Hot pursuit is a legal term that dates back to the early 1300s, and it refers to the immediate pursuit of a suspected criminal who is fleeing from justice. The term has evolved over time and is now widely used in the context of law enforcement, where it refers to chasing a suspect who is trying to evade the law. When in hot pursuit, law enforcement officers can enter private property, cross international borders, and make arrests without a warrant.

Examples of Hot Pursuit

  1. A police officer sees a suspect fleeing from a robbery scene and gets in their cruiser to pursue them. The pursuit is considered "hot" because the officer is chasing the suspect immediately after the crime was committed.

  2. A border patrol agent sees a person illegally crossing the border into the United States and gives chase. If the agent is in hot pursuit, they can cross into Mexico to try and apprehend the suspect.

  3. A suspect flees from a house after assaulting someone and is spotted by a police officer. The officer gives chase, and as the suspect runs through a backyard, jumps over a fence and into another yard, the officer follows in hot pursuit.

Legal Terms Similar to Hot Pursuit

  1. Probable Cause - Probable cause is the legal standard that must be met for law enforcement officers to carry out an arrest, conduct a search or seize someone's property.

  2. Warrant - A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that allows law enforcement officers to carry out an arrest, search or seizure.

  3. Extradition - Extradition is the legal process of transferring a suspect from one jurisdiction to another to face criminal charges.