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Secret Service Protection Law

The following section of the US Code tasks the US Secret Service with providing protective services to the President, Vice President, major candidates for those offices, and the families of those persons.

Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedures
Sec. 3056. Powers, authorities, and duties of United States Secret Service

  • (a) Under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect the following persons:
    • (1) The President, the Vice President (or other officer next in
      the order of succession to the Office of President), the
      President-elect, and the Vice President-elect.
    • (2) The immediate families of those individuals listed in
      paragraph (1).
    • (3) Former Presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes,
      except that protection of a spouse shall terminate in the event
      of remarriage unless the former President did not serve as
      President prior to January 1, 1997, in which case, former
      Presidents and their spouses for a period of not more than ten
      years from the date a former President leaves office, except that
      -
      • (A) protection of a spouse shall terminate in the event of
        remarriage or the divorce from, or death of a former President;
        and
        (B) should the death of a President occur while in office or
        within one year after leaving office, the spouse shall receive
        protection for one year from the time of such death:
        Provided, That the Secretary of the Treasury shall have the
        authority to direct the Secret Service to provide temporary
        protection for any of these individuals at any time if the
        Secretary of the Treasury or designee determines that information
        or conditions warrant such protection.
    • (4) Children of a former President who are under 16 years of
      age for a period not to exceed ten years or upon the child
      becoming 16 years of age, whichever comes first.
    • (5) Visiting heads of foreign states or foreign governments.
    • (6) Other distinguished foreign visitors to the United States
      and official representatives of the United States performing
      special missions abroad when the President directs that such
      protection be provided.
    • (7) Major Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and,
      within 120 days of the general Presidential election, the spouses
      of such candidates. As used in this paragraph, the term ''major
      Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates'' means those
      individuals identified as such by the Secretary of the Treasury
      after consultation with an advisory committee consisting of the
      Speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of
      the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders
      of the Senate, and one additional member selected by the other
      members of the committee. The protection authorized in paragraphs (2) through (7) may be declined.
  • (b) Under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secret Service is authorized to detect and arrest any person who violates -
    • (1) section 508, 509, 510, 871, or 879 of this title or, with
      respect to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal
      land banks, and Federal land bank associations, section 213, 216,
      [1] 433, 493, 657, 709, 1006, 1007, 1011, 1013, 1014,
      1907, or 1909 of this title;
    • (2) any of the laws of the United States relating to coins,
      obligations, and securities of the United States and of foreign
      governments; or
    • (3) any of the laws of the United States relating to electronic
      fund transfer frauds, credit and debit card frauds, and false
      identification documents or devices; except that the authority
      conferred by this paragraph shall be exercised subject to the
      agreement of the Attorney General and the Secretary of the
      Treasury and shall not affect the authority of any other Federal
      law enforcement agency with respect to those laws.
  • (c)
    • (1) Under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, officers and agents of the Secret Service are authorized to -
      • (A) execute warrants issued under the laws of the United
        States;
      • (B) carry firearms;
      • (C) make arrests without warrant for any offense against the
        United States committed in their presence, or for any felony
        cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have
        reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has
        committed or is committing such felony;
      • (D) offer and pay rewards for services and information leading
        to the apprehension of persons involved in the violation or
        potential violation of those provisions of law which the Secret
        Service is authorized to enforce;
      • (E) pay expenses for unforeseen emergencies of a confidential
        nature under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury and
        accounted for solely on the Secretary's certificate; and
        (F) perform such other functions and duties as are authorized
        by law.
    • (2) Funds expended from appropriations available to the Secret Service for the purchase of counterfeits and subsequently recovered shall be reimbursed to the appropriations available to the Secret Service at the time of the reimbursement.
  • (d) Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs, resists, or interferes with a Federal law enforcement agent engaged in the performance of the protective functions authorized by this section or by section 1752 of this title shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

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