Citizen’s arrest: should you do it???

Three Louisiana brothers make a citizen’s arrest in Tampa for being sold fake National Championship tickets. 

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My favorite part of this article is that the brothers held this con-artist with an empty coke bottle until the police arrived.

This raises the question of whether it’s legal to make a citizen’s arrest. In addition, the discussion extends to whether it’s a good idea.

Yes, it is legal to make a citizen’s arrest in Louisiana. 

Under Louisiana law, the answer is definitely yes. Louisiana law provides that a police officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person when—

The person has committed an offense in the officer’s presence

There is reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed an offense, although not in the presence of the officer.

Further, the Louisiana Criminal Code provides that a private person may make an arrest when the person to be arrested has committed a felony, whether in or out of his presence, under circumstances similar to those which would allow a police officer to make an arrest. There are no restrictions on this, and it is specifically provided for by law. When a citizen’s arrest is made, it is the duty of the citizen to turn over the arrested person to the sheriff’s department as quickly as possible.

Is it a good idea to make a citizens arrest?

This is obviously a case by case decision that should be made with extreme caution.

Are you willing to put yourself in harms way, like the three brothers did, in order to get justice?

Prior to getting married and having kids, I would be all for sticking up some con-artist with an empty coke bottle.  Now, in my older and wiser years, I’d probably be calling the police and following the suspect inconspicuously.

What about you? Leave your comment!

Be great,

Ryan

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