2022 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XXIII MOTOR VEHICLES
Chapter 321 HIGHWAY PATROL
SECTION 05Duties, functions, and powers of patrol officers.
321.05 Duties, functions, and powers of patrol officers.—The members of the Florida Highway Patrol are hereby declared to be conservators of the peace and law enforcement officers of the state, with the common-law right to arrest a person who, in the presence of the arresting officer, commits a felony or commits an affray or breach of the peace constituting a misdemeanor, with full power to bear arms; and they shall apprehend, without warrant, any person in the unlawful commission of any of the acts over which the members of the Florida Highway Patrol are given jurisdiction as hereinafter set out and deliver him or her to the sheriff of the county that further proceedings may be had against him or her according to law. In the performance of any of the powers, duties, and functions authorized by law, members of the Florida Highway Patrol have the same protections and immunities afforded other peace officers, which shall be recognized by all courts having jurisdiction over offenses against the laws of this state, and have authority to apply for, serve, and execute search warrants, arrest warrants, capias, and other process of the court. The patrol officers under the direction and supervision of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall perform and exercise throughout the state the following duties, functions, and powers:
(1) To patrol the state highways and regulate, control, and direct the movement of traffic thereon; to maintain the public peace by preventing violence on highways; to apprehend fugitives from justice; to enforce all laws regulating and governing traffic, travel, and public safety upon the public highways and providing for the protection of the public highways and public property thereon, including the security and safety of this state’s transportation infrastructure; to make arrests without warrant for the violation of any state law committed in their presence in accordance with state law; providing that no search may be made unless it is incident to a lawful arrest, to regulate and direct traffic concentrations and congestions; to enforce laws governing the operation, licensing, and taxing and limiting the size, weight, width, length, and speed of vehicles and licensing and controlling the operations of drivers and operators of vehicles, including the safety, size, and weight of commercial motor vehicles; to collect all state fees and revenues levied as an incident to the use or right to use the highways for any purpose, including the taxing and registration of commercial motor vehicles; to require the drivers of vehicles to stop and exhibit their driver licenses, registration cards, or documents required by law to be carried by such vehicles; to investigate traffic accidents, secure testimony of witnesses and of persons involved, and make report thereof with copy, if requested in writing, to any person in interest or his or her attorney; to investigate reported thefts of vehicles; and to seize contraband or stolen property on or being transported on the highways. Each patrol officer of the Florida Highway Patrol is subject to and has the same arrest and other authority provided for law enforcement officers generally in chapter 901 and has statewide jurisdiction. Each officer also has arrest authority as provided for state law enforcement officers in s. 901.15. This section does not conflict with, but is supplemental to, chapter 933.
(2) To assist other constituted law enforcement officers of the state to quell mobs and riots, guard prisoners, and police disaster areas.
(3)(a) To make arrests while in fresh pursuit of a person believed to have violated the traffic and other laws.
(b) To make arrest of a person wanted for a felony or against whom a warrant has been issued on any charge in violation of federal, state, or county laws or municipal ordinances.
(4)(a) All fines and costs and the proceeds of the forfeiture of bail bonds and recognizances resulting from the enforcement of this chapter by patrol officers shall be paid into the fine and forfeiture fund established pursuant to s. 142.01 of the county where the offense is committed. In all cases of arrest by patrol officers, the person arrested shall be delivered forthwith by the officer to the sheriff of the county, or he or she shall obtain from the person arrested a recognizance or, if deemed necessary, a cash bond or other sufficient security conditioned for his or her appearance before the proper tribunal of the county to answer the charge for which he or she has been arrested; and all fees accruing shall be taxed against the party arrested, which fees are hereby declared to be part of the compensation of the sheriffs authorized to be fixed by the Legislature under s. 5(c), Art. II of the State Constitution, to be paid such sheriffs in the same manner as fees are paid for like services in other criminal cases. All patrol officers are hereby directed to deliver all bonds accepted and approved by them to the sheriff of the county in which the offense is alleged to have been committed. However, a sheriff shall not be paid any arrest fee for the arrest of a person for violation of any section of chapter 316 when the arresting officer was transported in a Florida Highway Patrol car to the vicinity where the arrest was made; and a sheriff shall not be paid any fee for mileage for himself or herself or a prisoner for miles traveled in a Florida Highway Patrol car. A patrol officer is not entitled to any fee or mileage cost except when responding to a subpoena in a civil cause or except when the patrol officer is appearing as an official witness to testify at any hearing or law action in any court of this state as a direct result of his or her employment as a patrol officer during time not compensated as a part of his or her normal duties. Nothing herein shall be construed as limiting the power to locate and to take from any person under arrest or about to be arrested deadly weapons. This section is not a limitation upon existing powers and duties of sheriffs or police officers.
(b) Any person so arrested and released on his or her own recognizance by an officer and who fails to appear or respond to a notice to appear, in addition to the traffic violation charge, commits a noncriminal traffic infraction subject to the penalty provided in s. 318.18(2).
(5) The department may employ or assign some fit and suitable person with experience in the field of public relations who shall promote, coordinate, and publicize the traffic safety activities in the state and assign such person to the office of the Governor at a salary to be fixed by the department. The person so assigned or employed shall be a member of the uniform division of the Florida Highway Patrol, and he or she shall have the pay and rank of lieutenant while on such assignment.
(6) The Division of Florida Highway Patrol is authorized to adopt rules which may be necessary to implement the provisions of chapter 316.
History.—s. 5, ch. 19551, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(619); s. 5, ch. 20451, 1941; ss. 1, 21/2, ch. 23724, 1947; s. 1, ch. 26709, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28081, s. 1, ch. 28119, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29774, s. 1, ch. 29970, 1955; s. 1, ch. 67-143; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-155; s. 9, ch. 69-216; s. 207, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 71-275; ss. 4, 5, ch. 80-298; s. 16, ch. 86-185; s. 384, ch. 95-148; s. 6, ch. 2000-325; s. 63, ch. 2004-265; s. 30, ch. 2010-223; s. 19, ch. 2011-4; s. 20, ch. 2011-66.