Generally, it is expected that only sworn police officers or law enforcement officers are allowed to make arrests. However, there are certain circumstances that allow citizens without any badge to make arrests and that ultimately is what is known as a citizen’s arrest. To define a citizen’s arrest simply, it is an arrest made by a person who not a duly sworn officer when a person commits an offense such as an assault, criminal damage, or theft.
Factors to consider during a Citizen’s Arrest
Before making a citizen’s arrest, it is important that it is not based on the suspicion that a person has committed an offense or is committing one. Some of the factors to be considered before making a citizen’s arrest include:
If the answer is affirmative for any of the questions, then it would be best not to make an arrest but to contact the police.
Guidelines Governing a Citizen’s Arrest
Use of Force During a Citizen’s Arrest
It is important as a general rule that force used in detaining a person be proportionate and reasonable. Certain circumstances, however, may justify the use of force when making an arrest, such as when you want to prevent the person from running away or escaping. It can also be necessary in the case of self-defense.
Generally, before making a citizen’s arrest, remember the following points:
Most Important Thing to Consider Before Making a Citizen’s Arrest
While Federal Laws outline a specfic code of legal enforcement, each State also has specific criminal law codes. The best thing to do before considering a Citizen’s Arrest is to consult with a liscensed, Criminal Defense Attorney near you.
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