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When Civility Fails

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Making a citizen's arrest in real life isn't as glamorous as on TV. One need not take down the thug, whip out some handcuffs and read the Miranda rights. However, a police officer may not arrest or cite a person at the scene for a misdemeanor crime not committed in his/her presence. So here's where you come in. It's all a part of being a good citizen.

  1. Notify police upon observing a crime.

  2. Provide police with information to assist in identifying the violator.

  3. Sign a citizen's arrest form and a complaint form.

Most cases are concluded without your further involvement. However:

There is a possibility that you could receive a subpoena to testify in court as to what you saw. Appear in court when requested by the district attorney's office.

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From the March 5-11, 1998 issue of Metro.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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