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Citizen’s Arrest in Florida

The standard for a valid citizen’s arrest is explained in McAnnis v. State, 386 So.2d 1230, 1232 (Fla. 3d DCA 1980) as follows:

  • A purpose or intention to effect an arrest under real or pretended authority;
  • An actual or constructive seizure or detention of the person to be arrested by a person having present power to control the person arrested;
  • A communication by the arresting officer to the person whose arrest is sought, of an intention or purpose then and there to effect an arrest; and
  • An understanding by the person whose arrest is sought that it is the intention of the arresting officer then and there to arrest and detain him.

The courts must sometimes determine when a citizen’s arrest is valid if the police take custody of the person without a warrant. If the citizen’s arrest is invalid, then evidence gathered as a result of the detention often becomes inadmissible in misdemeanor cases that are not exceptions to the warrant requirement.

Attorney on Citizen’s Arrest in Florida

If your arrest or prosecution involves evidence gathered as a result of a citizen’s arrest, then contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm. We understand the requirements for a warrantless arrest and how to get evidence excluded if those rules are not followed.

Our main office is in downtown Tampa, FL. We have a second office in New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL.

Call 813-250-0500.

Requirements for a Citizen’s Arrest for DUI in Florida

A private citizen can effect a citizen’s arrest for DUI which is considered a breach of the peace. Edwards v. State, 462 So.2d 581 (Fla 4th DCA), rev. denied, 475 So. 2d 694 (Fla. 1985).

Some courts have held that taking the keys to the Defendant’s vehicle is a form of detention and can be equivalent to an arrest. See Sturman v. City of Golden Beach, 355 So. 2d 453 (Fla 3d DCA 1978), Larkin v. State, 3 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 8c (Fla. 9th Cir. Ct. Jan. 17, 1995).

Pursuant to Section 316.1932, Florida Statutes, a lawful arrest is a prerequisite to the collection of a breath sample under implied consent.

If the Defendant was not lawfully arrested, any evidence collected from the Defendant after his physical arrest by law enforcement must be suppressed, including but not limited to any Defendant statements and the results of the Defendant’s breath test.

This article was last updated on Friday, July 24, 2020.

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