Who can make an arrest?
All law enforcement officers, including police officers, county sheriff’s officers, district attorney or attorney general investigating officers, highway patrol officers, probation, and parole officers, may arrest you whether they are on or off duty.
Law enforcement officers may arrest you even if they do not have an arrest warrant if they have probable cause or good reason to believe you committed a felony. (A felony is a crime of a more serious nature than a misdemeanor, usually punishable by imprisonment for more than a year. A misdemeanor is usually punishable with a fine or short jail term.)
If you commit an infraction, such as a moving violation, law enforcement may ask you to sign a citation or notice instead of taking you into custody. If you sign the citation, you are not admitting guilt; you are only promising to appear in court. If you have no identification or refuse to sign, however, an officer may take you into custody.
Any person, such as a private security guard, can make a citizen’s arrest if he or she sees a misdemeanor being attempted or committed. A private citizen may also make a legal arrest for a felony as long as the felony was actually committed, and he or she has good reason to believe you did it. The private citizen must take you to a police officer or judge who is required by law to take you into custody.
Attorney Stephen G. Cline has been a practicing San Diego criminal defense attorney for 20 years. His reputation and experience will be the key to the aggressive defense of your San Diego arrest. Call today at (619) 235-5638 to review your specific case!
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