Q: Rick, Is there a such thing as a "CITIZEN ARREST?" There is a story on channel 4 that greatly disturbed me
Can a person step in to stop this? How do you properly and legally handle a situation like this? Can you please post, and notify me when you do? Thanks.
A: Yes, Michigan law does recognize citizen arrests. MCL 746.16 states the following:
764.16 Arrest by private person; situations.
Sec. 16. A private person may make an arrest—in the following situations:
(a) For a felony committed in the private person's presence.
(b) If the person to be arrested has committed a felony although not in the private person's presence.
(c) If the private person is summoned by a peace officer to assist the officer in making an arrest.
(d) If the private person is a merchant, an agent of a merchant, an employee of a merchant, or an independent contractor providing security for a merchant of a store and has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has violated section 356c or 356d of the Michigan penal code, Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being sections 750.356c and 750.356d of the Michigan Compiled Laws, in that store, regardless of whether the violation was committed in the presence of the private person.
764.20 Arrest; private persons, duty.
"A private person, before making an arrest, shall inform the person to be arrested of the intention to arrest him and the cause of the arrest, except when he is then engaged in the commission of a criminal offense, or if he flees or forcibly resists arrest before the person making the arrest has opportunity so to inform him."
Obviously, there are some issues to think through before making a citizen's arrest. First of all, do you know the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor? Guessing could get you in trouble.
Secondly, there are additional risks. You could be injured. You could get arrested. You might even get charged with a crime. In short, if you witness a felony you have a choice to make: get involved, be a good witness, or pretend like you didn't see anything.
Make your best decision; you'll have to bear the consequences. There is no right or wrong answer. What is important is "your answer."
You are strongly encouraged to not only conduct your own independent research but to also consult with a competent and qualified attorney before acting upon any information in this article. Laws covering self-defense, lethal force, firearms, and the Michigan Concealed Pistol License and their enforcement are always subject to change due to laws being amended, politics conducted in the Prosecutor's Office, and election results at all levels of government. Ignorance of the law, legally speaking, is not a valid excuse for running afoul of it. The penalties and fines imposed upon violators of firearms related offenses are stiff and severe.
About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.
Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.
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