Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office, or Florida Highway Patrol: Who has Jurisdiction for My Crash?


Every city, county and roadway within the United States is guided by several sets of laws. These include federal, municipal, and other local branches of government. In essence, it takes a village to ensure that each village is properly maintained.

When discussing who has jurisdiction however over auto accidents, particularly when they happen on roads that may fall under the regulatory auspices of any number of agencies, things can become a bit complicated. And while we hope that no accidents occur, the reality is that many do. We never know definitively where an accident may take place, but its location can define how it is handled, the governmental players who become involved, and who is ultimately responsible for the damages suffered.

To Whom Are Crashes Reported in Tampa, Florida?

Tampa, Florida is the largest city within Hillsborough County, and home to both the Tampa Police Department and one of 31 Florida Highway Patrol offices. Each of these agencies is tasked with varying degrees of authority over different aspects of driver and road safety.

Because this is the case, it is important to know who to contact and turn to, in addition of course, to your car accident lawyer in Tampa, in the event of a car crash or accident.

Tampa Police Department

The Tampa Police Department is tasked with a number of jobs, including being notified of car accidents and crashes on Tampa city roads. If you are ever in a car accident in Tampa, or any city for that matter, your first call should be to 911. That said, the Florida Highway Patrol may also be contacted, depending of course on where your accident took place.

Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office

Because Tampa is part of Hillsborough County, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office also has  jurisdiction over certain roads in the Tampa area. The Sheriff’s Office is in charge of both incorporated and unincorporated parts of the county, with Tampa positioned within the incorporated county area.

Florida Highway Patrol

When it comes to highway accidents, much like the the name of the agency suggests, it is the Florida Highway Patrol, one of the departments overseen by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or the FLHSMV, who has jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction and Whom to Call if You Are in An Accident in Tampa, Florida

According to each of their websites, the Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff, and the Florida Highway Patrol, are each on a mission to promote non violence, safety, and cooperation. All of these agencies are dedicating to inspiring courteous, symbiotic, and meaningful relationships with the communities and public they serve.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is committed to safety and security, the Tampa Police Department is focused on crime reduction, and the Florida Highway Patrol is particularly concerned with reducing the amount and severity of vehicular crashes and accidents throughout the Sunshine State.

You can count on two things with certainty, no matter where you are in Tampa or the nature of the motor vehicle accident you may find yourself in. The first, is that your call to 911 will be answered in a timely fashion, in order to provide you with the emergency personnel you need. Those servicemen may be from the Tampa Police Department, Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol, or any combination thereof. The second thing you can be certain of is that your Tampa car accident lawyer will guide you, assure that the right agencies take whatever responsibility is theirs, and support you every step of the way.


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