How do you make a citizen’s arrest?
Five steps PLUS… two bonus tips not being taught anywhere else!
If you’re the type of person who’s going to step up and take care of business when the time comes, and if your reading this you probably are, then this video is going to teach you what works in the real world.
I am not an attorney and this isn’t legal advise, but if you want to know how it goes down in the real world, then you’re at the right place.
Make sure you have “reasonable suspicion”. What is reasonable suspicion? Reasonable suspicion is a general and reasonable belief that a crime is in progress or has occurred. Sometimes I will use the phrase “reasonable belief” because that’s how it’s written out in my state’s law.
Also the crime should be a felony. What is a felony? A felony is a criminal offense punishable by death or incarceration in prison for at least a year.
In some states you can make a citizen’s arrest for non-felony misdemeanors that qualify as a “breach of peace”. What is a breach of peace? A breach of peace is a violation of the public tranquility and order. That’s things like rioting and or maybe discharging a firearm.
Plus the crime should be in-progress or have just occurred. Don’t make a citizen’s arrest on a guy if he robbed a store a week ago. Just call the cops!
You must have “probable cause”. What is probable cause? Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a particular person has committed a specific crime. (Note: This is different than reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.) Sometimes probable cause is simply called “P.C.”’
Approach the suspect. This is a dangerous and tricky thing. I suggest approaching in a non-confrontational way if you can.
Use only reasonable force… if any at all!
You will be judged later by people who have never been in the situation you found yourself in! Make sure when the Prosecuting Attorney (in some areas called the District Attorney) judges the reasonableness of your actions (including if you used force) that they can say you clearly acted reasonably.
Get the cops there as soon as possible.
Make sure they’ve been called if you haven’t called them yourself. This is non-negotiable requirement.
Do you have to say, “You are under arrest”? According to many state laws you do! But… some exceptions do exist even in states where this is a requirement. (California has an interesting case on the books that says you may not have to utter that exact phrase even though it’s written that way in the state law.)
Be prepared to deal with “bystanders” who will be shouting and calling out different things. Some may be encouraging the suspect to fight and escape, but some will be telling you that your doing it wrong. They will instantly become “experts” in citizen’s arrest having never studied it or done it themselves! But here’s the big thing…
Don’t get sucked into an argument with a bystander! You will never be able to convince them they are wrong in the heat of the moment so don’t even try. You may want to acknowledge them and thank them for the information, but don’t argue with them.
The whole arrest will be over in a few more minutes. Let them complain, but don’t let them get you riled up or sucked into a verbal dispute with them!
I teach these things from my extensive personal experience and training. In fact, I have literally written the book on how to make a citizen’s arrest!
It’s best to learn this skill now, before you need it! Of course you already understand that or you wouldn’t be watching this video, right?
Committed to your success,