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Thread: citizen's arrest

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    I'm wondering if citizen's in the Commonwealth can make citizen's arrests. This may be off topic but I'm wondering if it was different if you were carrying. For instance, if I were carrying and was in a store and someone came in and attempted to rob it, could I place them under arrest and transport them to a police station or can I just simply detain them? Also, does anyone know the legality of carrying non lethal weapons/tasers and handcuffs or restraining tools?

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    mrt6812 wrote:
    I'm wondering if citizen's in the Commonwealth can make citizen's arrests. This may be off topic but I'm wondering if it was different if you were carrying. For instance, if I were carrying and was in a store and someone came in and attempted to rob it, could I place them under arrest and transport them to a police station or can I just simply detain them? Also, does anyone know the legality of carrying non lethal weapons/tasers and handcuffs or restraining tools?
    **Upon first reading this topic, my first thought was "Citizen got arrested?!"**


    I believe you can if the person is commiting a felony. I think this just goes for detaining them at the scene, and i am not sure if you would be in the right to chase them down and tackle them. I definitely wouldnt try to transport them as a kidnapping charge or unlawful inprisonment might come your way.

    *old post, but on point: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/2485.html

    **Dangers of Making an Erroneous Citizens Arrest

    Making a citizen's arrest maliciously or with insufficient evidence of wrongdoing by the arrested individual can lead to civil or criminal penalties. Additionally, it is in violation of a suspects rights for a citizen making an arrest to use unnecessary force, to intentionally harm the suspect, to hold the suspect in unsafe conditions, or to delay in turning the suspect over to authorities. A citizen making an arrest is acting in the place of an officer of the law, and as such, is required to uphold the same rights and civil liberties as an officer of the law must uphold.

    A citizen who violates a suspects rights, or who violates the applicable state law in detaining the suspect, (for example, arresting a suspect for a misdemeanor when the state statute requires a felony for a citizens arrest), risks being sued or even charged with a crime. Additionally, if it is found that the arresting party did not meet the pertinent state requirements for a citizens arrest, any contraband found on the suspect will have been found illegally, and charges may be dropped entirely.


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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    mrt6812 wrote:
    I'm wondering if citizen's in the Commonwealth can make citizen's arrests. This may be off topic but I'm wondering if it was different if you were carrying. For instance, if I were carrying and was in a store and someone came in and attempted to rob it, could I place them under arrest and transport them to a police station or can I just simply detain them? Also, does anyone know the legality of carrying non lethal weapons/tasers and handcuffs or restraining tools?
    O&R (Observe and Report). Even take video or digital pictures.. personally you won't ever catch ME making a Citizen's arrest.. unless of course it is our OCDO "Citizen". :-)
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    I remember it being posted on arfcom, citizens in Virginia possess power of arrest when they witness any felony, or a misdemeanor breach of peace about to be, being, or just committed. I can't find the link or thread though. They also have powers of arrest when summoned by a LEO for assistance.

    However, as non LEOs we do NOT possess civil immunity so you better damn well make sure you are correct in what you're doing or you'll be charged yourself.

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    mrt6812 wrote:
    I'm wondering if citizen's in the Commonwealth can make citizen's arrests. This may be off topic but I'm wondering if it was different if you were carrying. For instance, if I were carrying and was in a store and someone came in and attempted to rob it, could I place them under arrest and transport them to a police station or can I just simply detain them?
    Hmmm, mrt6812, you seem to have missed something....What about your holding them over for the trial.....and, of course, for incarceration? Don't forget about your responsibilities in those areas....


    mrt6812 wrote:
    Also, does anyone know the legality of carrying non lethal weapons/tasers and handcuffs or restraining tools?
    You know, an average and reasonable person migh think that you are some kind of ...uhm...well....er...nudge, nudge....wink, wink... say no more, eh.

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    nova wrote:
    I remember it being posted on arfcom, citizens in Virginia possess power of arrest when they witness any felony, or a misdemeanor breach of peace about to be, being, or just committed. I can't find the link or thread though. They also have powers of arrest when summoned by a LEO for assistance.

    However, as non LEOs we do NOT possess civil immunity
    correct - there are some Va. S. Cases discussing this generally.

    And I think you mean "qualified immunity" - police do not have absolute civil immunity.

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    cbackous wrote:
    SNIP **Upon first reading this topic, my first thought was "Citizen got arrested?!"**
    Oh, thanks a lot.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    cbackous wrote:
    SNIP **Upon first reading this topic, my first thought was "Citizen got arrested?!"**
    Oh, thanks a lot.
    At least YOU know what to say and how to handle the arrest, complaint and FOIA request.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Mike wrote:
    nova wrote:
    I remember it being posted on arfcom, citizens in Virginia possess power of arrest when they witness any felony, or a misdemeanor breach of peace about to be, being, or just committed. I can't find the link or thread though. They also have powers of arrest when summoned by a LEO for assistance.

    However, as non LEOs we do NOT possess civil immunity
    correct - there are some Va. S. Cases discussing this generally.

    And I think you mean "qualified immunity" - police do not have absolute civil immunity.
    yup... that's the term I was thinking of. Thanks for the correction.

    Just to add another point, We as private citizens to not have the obligation to apprehend criminals as do LEOs.

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    mrt6812 wrote:
    I'm wondering if citizen's in the Commonwealth can make citizen's arrests. This may be off topic but I'm wondering if it was different if you were carrying. For instance, if I were carrying and was in a store and someone came in and attempted to rob it, could I place them under arrest and transport them to a police station or can I just simply detain them? Also, does anyone know the legality of carrying non lethal weapons/tasers and handcuffs or restraining tools?
    While some of those things may be legal, it is certainly going well against the grain of public perception to try it. I mean the parts about transport to a police station and handcuffs/restraints.

    I think you would be just begging to be painted as a vigilante or a wanna-be cop.

    I would go for something more along the lines of holding them at gun point until the cops arrived.

    Cuffing someone, especially a violent criminalwho doesn't want to be, is dangerous. Even trained cops get hurt doing this sometimes.

    Maybe if I lived in the country and the deputy sheriff was still twenty minutes away and I had no other choice. Or, if I was in the country, with the deputies still some time away, AND I had one or twoother people holding guns on thebad guy. It would really boil down tocircumstances and necessity.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Citizen wrote:
    I think you would be just begging to be painted as a vigilante or a wanna-be cop.
    Bloody shame how exercise of fundamental rights now falls under the category of vigilantism.

    The right of citizens arrest comes from English common law and predates the Constitution. It is a right and responsibility of all citizens to uphold and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth under and in the capacity of the Militia of the People...

    Which, sadly, has also been demonized and discredited by liberal media and underhanded bureaucracy over the past 150-or-so years.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Citizen wrote:
    mrt6812 wrote:
    I'm wondering if citizen's in the Commonwealth can make citizen's arrests. This may be off topic but I'm wondering if it was different if you were carrying. For instance, if I were carrying and was in a store and someone came in and attempted to rob it, could I place them under arrest and transport them to a police station or can I just simply detain them? Also, does anyone know the legality of carrying non lethal weapons/tasers and handcuffs or restraining tools?
    While some of those things may be legal, it is certainly going well against the grain of public perception to try it. I mean the parts about transport to a police station and handcuffs/restraints.

    I think you would be just begging to be painted as a vigilante or a wanna-be cop.

    I would go for something more along the lines of holding them at gun point until the cops arrived.

    Cuffing someone, especially a violent criminalwho doesn't want to be, is dangerous. Even trained cops get hurt doing this sometimes.

    Maybe if I lived in the country and the deputy sheriff was still twenty minutes away and I had no other choice. Or, if I was in the country, with the deputies still some time away, AND I had one or twoother people holding guns on thebad guy. It would really boil down tocircumstances and necessity.
    +1. Cuffing an unwilling person is like trying to wrestle a porcupine...
    Someone's gonna get hurt (most likely, YOU) and its pretty hard to do.

    Why would you even WANT to? I imagine L/E will be pretty quick in arriving if they hear someone is being held at GUNPOINT...

    Leave the handcuffing to the professionals.



    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
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    wylde007 wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    I think you would be just begging to be painted as a vigilante or a wanna-be cop.
    The right of citizens arrest comes from English common law and predates the Constitution. It is a right and responsibility of all citizens to uphold and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth under and in the capacity of the Militia of the People...
    Unless summoned by a LEO, then it is not my legal responsibility to uphold and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth. I carry a firearm for my personal defense, and nothing more. It is not my job to apprehend criminals. As a society we decided to delegate that responsibility to another person elected by the people who we pay through taxes (Sheriff). Today we also have a police dept. Again, it is not my responsibility or duty in any legal way to arrest criminals. My duty as a human is self preservation.

    Being an OC site, I'll add that carrying handcuffs will either make people think you're an LEO (which is not our goal as OCers) or make OCers look like wannabe cops (which us OCers are not).

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    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    mrt6812 wrote:
    I'm wondering if citizen's in the Commonwealth can make citizen's arrests. This may be off topic but I'm wondering if it was different if you were carrying. For instance, if I were carrying and was in a store and someone came in and attempted to rob it, could I place them under arrest and transport them to a police station or can I just simply detain them? Also, does anyone know the legality of carrying non lethal weapons/tasers and handcuffs or restraining tools?
    ...
    I would go for something more along the lines of holding them at gun point until the cops arrived.

    ...
    +1.

    I imagine L/E will be pretty quick in arriving if they hear someone is being held at GUNPOINT...
    I "imagine" that sometimes the cops do not get there all that quickly, MSG. They make take 5 minutes. Maybe 10. Maybe 15...

    That can be a longgggggggg time.....


    Just remember, if you find yourself in a situation where you are holding someone at gunpoint...waiting for the cops to arrive....and the "perpetrator" is unarmed...and you are waiting..waiting....with people looking at you aghast at the goings-on... AND THE PERP STARTS TO RUN AWAY FROM YOU....

    ...remember ... DO NOT SHOOT HIM.



    You'll be sorry if you panic anddo....


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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    Hank's an asset.... or an ass something That'll be his job. He'll be the Citizens Arrest Czar!

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    peter nap wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    Hank's an asset.... or an ass something That'll be his job. He'll be the Citizens Arrest Czar!

    Heya, PN!

    You too MSG!

    Would you shoot an unarmed perpetrator you were holding at gunpoint--if he decided to run away?


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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    HankT wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    Hank's an asset.... or an ass something That'll be his job. He'll be the Citizens Arrest Czar!

    Heya, PN!

    You too MSG!

    Would you shoot an unarmed perpetrator you were holding at gunpoint--if he decided to run away?
    Depends on which way he was running.
    If he was headed North, Hell no, I'd give him a good kick to speed him up.


  19. #19
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    Good discussion.

    In Virginia, LEO's derive their power of arrest from their rights and powers as citizens, and have no broader powers except as created by statute.

    In my experience, most cops don't really understand the distinctions between the different levels of arrest and the required degree of evidence required to detain a person. So unless you're really up on the differences between "reasonable suspicion" and "probable cause", you should not be making arrests. I think I've won more cases on lack of probable cause to make the arrest than on any other basis.

    Here's another observation: deadly force is authorized to stop a serious felony in progress. A serious felony is, by definition, one that involves the likelihood of "an immediate threat of serious bodily injury to the actor or an innocent third party". Traditionally, there are five: rape, robbery, murder, arson, and burglary. If there is no threat to an identified innocent person, and no threat to someone who's likely to be present coupled with the act of a serious felony, then don't touch the weapon. Repeat: don't touch the weapon. Mere reference to a firearm coupled with the intention to coerce or intimidate is the crime of brandishing a firearm.

    I like the scene in one of the "Death Wish" sequels where Charles Bronson's character comes out of an apartment building where two "punks" are in the process of stealing the radio out of his car:
    "What's the problem?"
    "Whut?"
    "I said, what's the problem?"
    "Man, what's it to you?"
    "It's my car!"
    "Now you gonna get it, sucker (pulling out a big knife)."

    At this point, and not before, Bronson's character makes absolutely no reference to the fact that he's got a gun. But when that big knife comes out and both "punks" approach in a threatening manner, he pulls it out and kills both. Self defense: ok; defense of property: no go.
    "
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    Hank's an asset.... or an ass something That'll be his job. He'll be the Citizens Arrest Czar!

    Heya, PN!

    You too MSG!

    Would you shoot an unarmed perpetrator you were holding at gunpoint--if he decided to run away?
    Depends on which way he was running.
    If he was headed North, Hell no, I'd give him a good kick to speed him up.
    Hmmm, PN, I don't know why I asked both of you. I should have figured that you would be smart enough not to shoot an unarmed man running away from you...

  21. #21
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    HankT wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    Hank's an asset.... or an ass something That'll be his job. He'll be the Citizens Arrest Czar!

    Heya, PN!

    You too MSG!

    Would you shoot an unarmed perpetrator you were holding at gunpoint--if he decided to run away?
    Depends on which way he was running.
    If he was headed North, Hell no, I'd give him a good kick to speed him up.
    Hmmm, PN, I don't know why I asked both of you. I should have figured that you would be smart enough not to shoot an unarmed man running away from you...
    Well Hank, all BS aide and all legalities be damned, killing someone is a serious matter. I hear it all the time ftom people..."I'd pull the trigger in a heartbeat". Maybe so, but it's something that sticks with you the rest of your life and, the closer you get to meeting your own maker, the more you wonder if the things you did during your life, were right...not legal, but right.

    Hopefully St Peter is open to negotiation!

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    peter nap wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    SNIP That'll be his job. He'll be the Citizens Arrest Czar!
    Hey!!!! Watch it there, will ya!

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    wylde007 wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    I think you would be just begging to be painted as a vigilante or a wanna-be cop.
    Bloody shame how exercise of fundamental rights now falls under the category of vigilantism.

    The right of citizens arrest comes from English common law and predates the Constitution. It is a right and responsibility of all citizens to uphold and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth under and in the capacity of the Militia of the People...

    Which, sadly, has also been demonized and discredited by liberal media and underhanded bureaucracy over the past 150-or-so years.
    I agree.

    Here is some interesting history dating back to before police:

    The Constitution contains no explicit provisions for criminal law enforcement.11 Nor did the constitutions of any of the several states contain such provisions at the time of the Founding.12 Early constitutions enunciated the intention that law enforcement was a universal duty that each person owed to the community, rather than a power of the government.13 Founding-era constitutions addressed law enforcement from the standpoint of individual liberties and placed explicit barriers upon the state.14 --Dr. Roger Roots.

    The entire paper is very interesting:

    http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  24. #24
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    MSC 45ACP wrote:
    doesn't hanky have some other state to bother?
    Hank's an asset.... or an ass something That'll be his job. He'll be the Citizens Arrest Czar!

    Heya, PN!

    You too MSG!

    Would you shoot an unarmed perpetrator you were holding at gunpoint--if he decided to run away?
    Depends on which way he was running.
    If he was headed North, Hell no, I'd give him a good kick to speed him up.
    Hmmm, PN, I don't know why I asked both of you. I should have figured that you would be smart enough not to shoot an unarmed man running away from you...
    Well Hank, all BS aide and all legalities be damned, killing someone is a serious matter. I hear it all the time ftom people..."I'd pull the trigger in a heartbeat". Maybe so, but it's something that sticks with you the rest of your life and, the closer you get to meeting your own maker, the more you wonder if the things you did during your life, were right...not legal, but right.

    Hopefully St Peter is open to negotiation!
    I agree with you heartily, PN.

    It's quite serious to shoot/kill another human being. Possibly the most serious event in any person's life. And there is more than the legal level of consideration. There is also a moral/ethical level...

    Talk is talk, of course, people say certain things online--but won't really do them out in the street.

    But I get the sense that there are some among us that would actually relishmaking the ill-informed and impetuously erroneous decision to shootat a critical point--and then pay for the rest of their lives. And make their families and friends pay for the rest of their lives too...

    They come up with distorted mouthings of a wise (butvery limited) old chant, "Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6!"

    What crap. It's much better to do the right thing,than to be tried by 12 or carried by 6....

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Don't agree with me Hank...makes me look bad.

    You don't give the members here much credit. All that I personally know are well aware of the difference between a good shooting and a bad one.

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