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5 Common Reasons for Performing Citizen’s Arrests

According to the Los Angeles Times and California Penal Code Section 837 concerning the act of a citizen’s arrest, if you see any kind of a crime, you can stop it. Of course, it may not always be the safest decision, which is why private security agencies in San Jose are valued. They are trained to respond to the commission of a crime better than most people. Here are some of the crimes people have prevented or ensured justice for because they exercised their California legal rights to perform a citizen’s arrest.

1. Drunk Driving

States have different standards when it comes to their definition of drunk driving. Generally, most state DUI laws involve the driver being clearly intoxicated or incapable of driving due to another substance and being in the driver’s seat with keys in the ignition or going in. This is one of the safest conditions of a citizen’s arrest. Also, it has the potential to save lives.

2. Trespassing

If you see someone lurking on a neighbor’s property, preparing to break in or in the act of breaking in, you have the right to make a citizen’s arrest. If you can make certain the perpetrator is not carrying a weapon, you have the potential to stop a burglary from happening by detaining him or her and waiting for law enforcement to arrive. However, because potential burglars sometimes conceal weapons, it would be safer if a trained San Jose armed guard on patrol witnessed the crime and detained the trespasser or potential burglar.

3. Shoplifting

Shoplifting is one of the most common misdemeanors where fellow shoppers, store owners, and trained security guards hired by the store interject themselves in the name of justice and detain the shoplifter until the police arrive. Whether this is allowed or not depends on the type of business, and the only way to know for sure if it is allowed is to be familiar with the state laws. It would be more appropriate to inform an employee or a professional security guard because they would be more likely to know if a citizen’s arrest could be made in the type of establishment. Also, you or whoever makes the citizen’s arrest, even if it is a trained security guard, needs to make sure the person is, in fact, stealing.

4. Breach of Peace

Usually, a citizen’s arrest cannot be made for minor violations like traffic stops, parking violations, or crimes that would only result in a ticket for a small fine. However, disturbing the peace may be an exception, as it is a crime that acts as an umbrella for people engaging in one or more disorderly conduct violations. Types of peace disturbance include:

  • Making or causing excessively loud noise
  • Shouting or yelling for an excessive period
  • Fighting in public, or threatening to cause or engage in a fight in public

5. Any Felony

If you witness a felony, you have every right to step in, make a citizen’s arrest, and detain the suspect until the police arrive. It goes without saying that extreme caution should be exercised here, especially depending on the type of felony. It would probably be better to let someone such as a skilled security guard handle the situation or simply wait for the police. Here are some of the felonies a citizen can detain a suspect for:

  • Rape
  • Attempted murder
  • Vandalism of federal property
  • Aggravated assault
  • Arson

If you’re looking for patrol security in San Jose for a residential or commercial property, reach out to ADS Guards. We have been a leading provider of professional security services for nearly two decades. Call 1-800-794-1550 today to speak with one of our representatives and receive a free quote.