Advanced Arrest, Search & Seizure (Lesson 4 of 31)
Circumstance for Arrest
Arrest by a Peace officer (Penal Codes §836)
Penal Code §836 governs when an arrest may be made by a peace officer. As you know, a basic understanding of Penal Code §836 is necessary to allow the security officer to assist in an arrest by a police officer, even though an arrest by a security officer is not governed by this section.
Generally, a peace officer may make an arrest under any of the following situations:
- Pursuant to a warrant;
- When the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed an offense in the officer’s presence;
- When the suspect has actually committed a felony outside of the peace officer’s presence; and
- When the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a felony, even if the suspect has not, in fact, committed any felony. (Penal Code §836(a).)
With respect to the violation of a domestic violence protective order or restraining order, a peace officer may make a lawful arrest if he has probable cause to believe that
- The suspect has notice of the order and
- The suspect has violated that order. This is true regardless of whether the violation occurred in the presence of the peace officer. (Penal Code §836(c).)
With respect, all other cases of domestic violence, the peace officer may arrest the suspect without a warrant where
- The peace officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed an assault or battery (even if neither has actually been committed) and he makes the arrest as soon as that probable cause arises. (Penal Code §836(d).)
In the case of a suspect who possesses a concealed firearm in an area of an airport to which access is controlled by the inspection of persons and property, a peace officer may make an arrest if he has reasonable cause to believe the person possesses a concealed firearm and the peace officer makes the arrest as soon as that reasonable cause arises. (Penal Code §836(e).)
Reasonable cause is a higher standard than probable cause, and usually requires more facts. “Reasonable cause” is defined as that state of facts that would lead a man of ordinary care and prudence to believe and conscientiously entertain an honest and strong suspicion that the person is guilty of a crime. This will be discussed in further detail later in this module.
Arrest by a Private Person (Penal Code §837)
A security officer is not a peace officer. As such, the circumstances under which a security officer may make a lawful arrest are the same as those for private persons.
A private person may make a lawful arrest under three different scenarios:
- When the suspect has committed (or attempted) any public offense in the arresting person’s presence.
- When the suspect has committed a felony, even if the felony was not committed in the arresting person’s presence.
- When a felony has been committed, and the arresting person has reasonable cause to believe that the person arrested is the one who committed that felony.