Citizen's Arrest - definition and when is it legal?

This is a discussion on Citizen's Arrest - definition and when is it legal? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Let me preface this post by stating that I have no intentions of trying to ever be a Leo or act like one. I have ...

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Thread: Citizen's Arrest - definition and when is it legal?

  1. #1
    Member Array Uechi's Avatar
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    Citizen's Arrest - definition and when is it legal?

    Let me preface this post by stating that I have no intentions of trying to ever be a Leo or act like one. I have always been curious however about the words " Citizens Arrest " I'm hoping some knowledgeable people out there will explain if and when it is ever really legal for a citizen to arrest someone and theoretical circumstances where it is valid.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I started this thread to help people find the answer in one spot. If you have any questions after reading through it, please post it in that thread and we can keep the responses easy to find.

    Thanks!

    ETA:

    Actually, it's been closed, so post questions here I guess.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    You gotta be really careful about detaining anybody,you could end up getting charged for unlawful detention/kidnapping
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Doesn't exist in North Carolina. A citizen can detain someone under very limited circumstances, but cannot make an arrest under any circumstances other than being asked for assistance by a LEO within his territorial and subject matter jurisdiction.
    -Landric

    "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them" -Felix

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    VIP Member Array Dal1Celt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Landric View Post
    Doesn't exist in North Carolina. A citizen can detain someone under very limited circumstances, but cannot make an arrest under any circumstances other than being asked for assistance by a LEO within his territorial and subject matter jurisdiction.
    Actually, I think there is NO citizens arrest in NC. You have no right to detain anyone, here in NC.

    If you catch someone breaking and entering, and they turn to leave, you have to let them go.

    Law might have changed, but I haven't heard anything on it.
    "Without fear there can be no Courage!"

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    Member Array XDFender's Avatar
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    The only correct answer to this question is, "it depends on what jurisdiction you are in and what their laws are." Every state has different laws on when a citizen may detain and/or "arrest" somebody. You need to consult your jurisdiction's laws, and perhaps a competent attorney in that jurisdiction for your answer.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dal1Celt View Post
    Actually, I think there is NO citizens arrest in NC. You have no right to detain anyone, here in NC.

    If you catch someone breaking and entering, and they turn to leave, you have to let them go.

    Law might have changed, but I haven't heard anything on it.
    Check the link in my post, that thread references NC statutes on detention by citizens. http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...402-post2.html

    Quote Originally Posted by XDFender View Post
    The only correct answer to this question is, "it depends on what jurisdiction you are in and what their laws are." Every state has different laws on when a citizen may detain and/or "arrest" somebody. You need to consult your jurisdiction's laws, and perhaps a competent attorney in that jurisdiction for your answer.
    Agreed, the best answer by far.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array Dal1Celt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    Check the link in my post, that thread references NC statutes on detention by citizens. http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...402-post2.html
    Like I said, it may have changed, but I clearly remember my instructor stating there is NO citizen arrest here in NC.

    I was not saying your wrong, just stating what we were told during our classes here.
    "Without fear there can be no Courage!"

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    VIP Member Array boricua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dal1Celt View Post
    Like I said, it may have changed, but I clearly remember my instructor stating there is NO citizen arrest here in NC.

    I was not saying your wrong, just stating what we were told during our classes here.
    Citizen's arrest and detention are two different things in NC. Any one can detain, but only LEO may arrest. Of course, some forms of detention may get you in some legal trouble, especially if you hurt the detainee.
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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Here are the statutes involved in NC:

    § 15A‑404. Detention of offenders by private persons.

    (a) No Arrest; Detention Permitted. – No private person may arrest another person except as provided in G.S. 15A‑405. A private person may detain another person as provided in this section.

    (b) When Detention Permitted. – A private person may detain another person when he has probable cause to believe that the person detained has committed in his presence:

    (1) A felony,

    (2) A breach of the peace,

    (3) A crime involving physical injury to another person, or

    (4) A crime involving theft or destruction of property.

    (c) Manner of Detention. – The detention must be in a reasonable manner considering the offense involved and the circumstances of the detention.

    (d) Period of Detention. – The detention may be no longer than the time required for the earliest of the following:

    (1) The determination that no offense has been committed.

    (2) Surrender of the person detained to a law‑enforcement officer as provided in subsection (e).

    (e) Surrender to Officer. – A private person who detains another must immediately notify a law‑enforcement officer and must, unless he releases the person earlier as required by subsection (d), surrender the person detained to the law‑enforcement officer. (1973, c. 1286, s. 1.)

    § 15A‑405. Assistance to law‑enforcement officers by private persons to effect arrest or prevent escape; benefits for private persons.

    (a) Assistance upon Request; Authority. – Private persons may assist law‑enforcement officers in effecting arrests and preventing escapes from custody when requested to do so by the officer. When so requested, a private person has the same authority to effect an arrest or prevent escape from custody as the officer making the request. He does not incur civil or criminal liability for an invalid arrest unless he knows the arrest to be invalid. Nothing in this subsection constitutes justification for willful, malicious or criminally negligent conduct by such person which injures or endangers any person or property, nor shall it be construed to excuse or justify the use of unreasonable or excessive force.

    (b) Benefits to Private Persons. – A private person assisting a law‑enforcement officer pursuant to subsection (a) is:

    (1) Repealed by Session Laws 1989, c. 290, s. 1.

    (2) Entitled to the same benefits as a "law‑enforcement officer" as that term is defined in G.S. 143‑166.2(d) (Law‑Enforcement Officers', Firemen's and Rescue Squad Workers' Death Benefit Act); and

    (3) To be treated as an employee of the employer of the law‑enforcement officer within the meaning of G.S. 97‑2(2) (Workers' Compensation Act).

    The Governor and the Council of State are authorized to allocate funds from the Contingency and Emergency Fund for the payment of benefits under subdivision (3) when no other source is available for the payment of such benefits and when they determine that such allocation is necessary and appropriate. (1868‑9, c. 178, subch. 1, s. 2; Code, s. 1125; Rev., s. 3181; C.S., s. 4547; 1973, c. 1286, s. 1; 1979, c. 714, s. 2; 1989, c. 290, s. 1.)
    -Landric

    "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them" -Felix

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    Just about right. For the record, abduction is the charge for detaining or forcibly moving a person within state boundaries. Kidnapping is the charge for forcibily taking someone across state lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    You gotta be really careful about detaining anybody,you could end up getting charged for unlawful detention/kidnapping

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    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    In Texas, the short version is that anyone can arrest someone for a felony, breach of the peace, or to prevent the consequences of theft. This means any person has almost as much arrest power as a peace officer. What a private citizen must keep in mind, however, is that he does not have the backing of the legal system, his employer, or union attorneys if he makes a mistake, even a good-faith mistake.

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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    Just about right. For the record, abuduction is the charge for detaining or forcibly moving a person within state boundaries. Kidnapping is the charge for forcibily taking someone across state lines.
    It depends on the state. In North Carolina we have both first and second degree kidnapping charges, felonious restraint, and false imprisonment. There is no charge called abduction in NC.

    In VA, abduction covers pretty much all the conduct involved in the above charges in NC and there is no "kidnapping" charge in VA.
    -Landric

    "The Engine could still smile...it seemed to scare them" -Felix

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    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Bottom line (NO CITIZENS ARREST IN FLORIDA)
    A Native Floridian = RARE


    IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
    H/D

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    715 F.2d 548

    Appellants also question the authority of the Florida Marine Patrol officers to arrest them. Florida recognizes the common law rule that a policeman may make an arrest as a private citizen when a felony is committed in his presence. United States v. Ible, 630 F.2d 389, 393 (5th Cir.1980).
    http://www.flhsmv.gov/CASES/Furr.html

    Reversing, the DCA concluded that the trial court "erred by holding that a citizens' arrest is void where the officer is in a patrol car and uses flashing lights to detain the arrestee. ... The trial court also erred by failing to recognize the legality of a citizen's arrest for a felony or a breach of the peace."
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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