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San Diego Criminal Defense Citizens Arrest

by | Jan 20, 2014 | General Criminal Defense |

There is a fight at the party or a bar in San Diego.  Police were called to the scene.  This is a very common occurrence all around San Diego.

Most everyone has heard of the term “citizen’s arrest”. But do you really know what it means? How about when you’re allowed to use it?

The statute describing the “citizen’s arrest” term, explains that in certain situations, citizens, (not a peace officer or other persons of the law), have the power to make an arrest of another citizen. It is when ordinary people detain a suspected criminal.

However, this rule does not mean that people can just freely arrest people and claim that they did it under the citizen’s arrest rule. There are some boundaries and regulations that people need to follow in order to refrain from civil or criminal liability.  It is vital to know this if you are going to utilize the right in a San Diego criminal case.

A person can arrest someone that they reasonably suspect of committing a felony, even if the felony didn’t occur in the presence of the individual making the arrest. As long as a felony was committed and the person making the arrest knew of the crime, a reasonable suspicion about the identity of the suspect will justify their arrest.  The felony must have actually occurred before an individual can make a citizens arrest. If the crime did not actually happen, the individual making the arrest could possibly face civil and/ or criminal charges.

A citizen may only arrest someone for a misdemeanor crime if they:

  1. personally witnessed the criminal behavior and the crime has just occurred
  2. that crime is going to cause a disturbance to the peace

Although the regulations involving a citizen’s arrest are less strict than those of an arrest by a peace officer, there is one regulation that they both obtain. That is, the use of force. Anyone carrying out a citizen’s arrest is prohibited from using any excessive force that is to be considered unreasonable and unnecessary for the arrest. States have different rules about the use of deadly force during a citizens arrest, and failure to comply with the law in this area can result in serious consequence.

People deciding to make a citizen’s arrest must use their judgment to decide the amount of force needed to detain the suspect. Every individual has the right to arrest wrongdoers in certain circumstances, but individuals making the decision to do so act at their own risk. Not only is apprehending a criminal dangerous, but failure to meet the legal requirements for a citizens arrest could have unfortunate consequences for the person making the arrest.

A citizens arrest could trigger the criminal process.  Someone utilizing this right needs to know they can be called as a witness to hearings and maybe jury trial.  Once you desire charges the prosecution (if they issue charges) usually do not care if you later desire dropping charges.

Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges.  Whether you have been charged of a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, Clairemont DUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Ocean Beach DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case.  Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation.

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