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WHAT IS A CITIZEN’S ARREST?

A citizen’s arrest is an arrest made by a person who is not acting as a sworn law-enforcement official.

In Mississippi, a citizen’s arrest is authorized by Miss. Code § 99-3-7, which states that a private citizen may arrest any person without a warrant, for an indictable offense committed, or a breach of the peace threatened or attempted in his presence; or when a person has committed a felony, though not in his presence; or when a felony has been committed, and he has reasonable ground to suspect and believe the person proposed to be arrested to have committed it; or on a charge, made upon reasonable cause, of the commission of a felony by the party proposed to be arrested.

In all cases of arrests made without warrant, the person making the arrest must inform the accused of the object and cause of the arrest, except when he is in the actual commission of the offense, or is arrested on pursuit.

Making a citizen’s arrest without carefully considering the risk factors may have serious unintended consequences for you and others involved. Whenever possible, you should report wrong doing to the police instead of taking action on your own. Police officers are equipped with the proper intervention tools and trained to deal with incidents which may escalate to become violent.

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