Do You Know If a Citizen’s Arrest is Still Legal in Texas?
Growing up we heard about a citizen’s arrest or being placed under citizen’s arrest. But what exactly does that mean and is it still enforceable in the state of Texas?
First let’s explain what it is. A citizen’s arrest is an arrest by a private citizen that is not a sworn law enforcement official. And while this might seem simple enough, the challenging part to me would be getting the offender to stop because most likely they will not stop their illegal action unless there is a real law enforcement officer there to make them deal with the consequences of their actions.
Okay, Now is a Citizen’s Arrest Still Legal in Texas?
According to Tad Law, yes, you can make a citizen’s arrest in Texas but the law is very limiting and if you’re in a situation like this and you have the chance to call the police that is going to be your best course of action.
The biggest issue with making a citizen's arrest is that you could end up being sued or even face criminal charges yourself for trying to do the right thing. Arresting someone never goes according to plan (just ask a police officer) and you could seriously injure yourself or someone else and you would then be liable for the damages or injuries.
When Can You Make a Citizen’s Arrest?
You can make an arrest when you see an offense being committed. Hearing about a crime does NOT give anyone the right to attempt a citizen's arrest, you must see the crime being committed yourself. Also, the person must be committing a crime against the public peace or a felony offense. A misdemeanor crime is not something that you can make a citizen’s arrest over, which is why it’s always best to call law enforcement because they know what’s best in these situations.