Citizen Arrest

The exact situations in which such citizen arrest is permissible can vary in different jurisdictions.

A CrimeFighter, when making an arrest, must tell the suspect being arrested of the intention to arrest and the cause of the arrest. That’s not necessary if the suspect is engaged in the commission of an offense, is chased after its commission, after an escape, or forcibly resists before the CrimeFighter has opportunity to inform the person. After making an arrest a citizen must, without unnecessary delay, deliver the suspect to a police officer, or take them to a magistrate or police station.

LiarCatchers recommends that you first be aware of the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in your state (and ostensibly, the differences between the two in any states where you plan to vacation and possibly fight crime while on vacation). Citizens’ arrests protections (where they do exist) don’t extend to misdemeanors

A misdemeanor is generally a crime that is punishable for a year or less in prison, or only in a county or local jail.

Some crimes can be either a felony or a misdemeanor based on an additional element or aggravating characteristic. For example, simply punching someone in a bar fight might be misdemeanor battery, but punching them while using brass knuckles might be a felony based on the use of a weapon. Or, possession of a small personal amount of marijuana might be a misdemeanor, while possessing twenty pounds of pot might lead to felony charges based on the volume of the drug.

There are not many differences in the procedural prosecution of felonies and misdemeanors. All require that the government bring some sort of formal charges against you, and accord you due process of law. However, the state needs to follow more formal procedures to prosecute you for a felony. For example, an accused can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor in court without an indictment or a preliminary hearing. The difference might also affect how a person appeals the conviction. For example, in California, a person convicted of a misdemeanor appeals to a different court than a person convicted of a felony.

Being convicted of a felony, as opposed to a misdemeanor, can have serious consequences. In addition to the longer punishment, a person convicted of a felony loses the right to possess firearms or obtain certain licenses, such as a hunting or a fishing license. In some states, a convicted felon loses the right to vote. A felon is required to disclose his status when applying for jobs. A repeat felon can face much harsher punishments, especially in states that maintain three-strikes laws.

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