Warrentless Arrest – a legal arrest, without a warrant, carried out by a peace officer or private citizen, when there’s absolute certainty or probable cause that a crime was committed by the suspect

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warrantless arrest:

1. A legal arrest, without a warrant, based on probable cause of a felony, or for a misdemeanor committed in a police officer’s presence. — aka arrest without a warrant.  See WARRANT. [1]

1. The arrest of a person without an arrest warrant.  A police officer may make such an arrest if a crime is committed in her presence or if she has a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed. [2]

arrest without warrant:

1. An arrest by a peace officer, or even by a private person in some instances, which is legal, notwithstanding the absence of a warrant of arrest, because of the existence of justification under the law, as where the officer has reasonable cause to believe that a felony has been committed and that the person arrested is the person guilty of the crime, and where an arrest made by a private person was that of a person who had committed an offense in his presence. 5 Am J2d Crim L §§ 22 et seq. [3]

1. This an arrest that is carried out by a peace officer or a private citizen where there is certainty or absolute certainty that a particular crime has been committed. [4]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[4]: Black’s Law Dictionary Second Edition Online, “ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT”: http://thelawdictionary.org/arrest-without-warrant/


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