Probable Cause and Arrest by Private Citizens Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 February 2017

Probable Cause and Arrest by Private Citizens

The US Constitution states that probable cause is a standard allowing police officers to make an arrest, to obtain a warrant and to conduct property search or personal search. Probable cause suggests that a person has already committed crime or about to do it. Actually, probable cause is situation when a person is reasonably suspected. Grant jury believes that a crime is committed and particular person is suspected.

For example, if police officer reasonably suspects that that a person is illegally sells drugs, there is a probable cause to stop him and to conduct personal search. Nevertheless, it is necessary to underline that people are secured by the Constitution from unreasonable searches because it is violation of their human rights. It is necessary to note that probable cause is stronger than simply reasonable suspicion. (Schwegel 2006)

Arrest by private citizens or citizen’s arrest is any arrest which is performed by a civilian person. Moreover, the arresting person may not be the citizen of the country where his actions are made. For example, North Caroline permits arrest by private citizens in case if citizens witnesses a felony crime and when a person is asked for help by police officers. Citizens may detain suspicious person is there is a probable cause for committing crime, breach of peace, or physical injuries to another person.

In such situation arresting person is responsible for delivering the suspected person to police officer. US Constitution states that arrest is legal action, but it should avoid abusing power if evidence isn’t enough. Probable cause and arrest by private citizens are interrelated because probable cause is the ground for arresting person who has committed a felony or offense. Often suspects are released due to lack of evidence and, therefore, before arresting a police officer or civilian should consider whether there is a reasonable cause of making arrest. (Grossack 1994)

Works Cited

Schwegel, Theresa. Probable Cause. USA: St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2006.

Grossack, David. Citizen’s Arrest. 1994. Available at  November 18, 2007.


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