The Law of Arrest: Arrest for Misdemeanors Arrest for Misdemeanors Section Eleven By Dave Delicath forThe Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy
Arrests for Felony W.S. § 7-2-102(b)(ii) W.S. § 7-2-102(b)(ii)An officer may arrest without a warrant when: (ii) The officer has probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed and that the person to be arrested has committed it.This is the basic rule of arrest.
Arrests - MisdemeanorsW.S. § 7-2-102 Preconditions for arrests. (a) A peace officer may arrest a person when the officer has a warrant commanding that the person be arrested or the officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a warrant for the persons arrest has been issued in this state or in another jurisdiction. (b) A peace officer may arrest a person without a warrant when: (i) Any criminal offense is being committed in the officers presence by the person to be arrested; (iii) The officer has probable cause to believe that a misdemeanor has been committed, that the person to be arrested has committed it, and that the person, unless immediately arrested: (A)will not be apprehended; (B) may cause injury to himself or others or damage to property; or (C) may destroy or conceal evidence of the commission of the misdemeanor.
Arrests - MisdemeanorsThe “presence” requirement under W.S. § 7-2-102 (b) (i):(i) Any criminal offense is being committed in the officers presence by the person to bearrested; “Presence” means that the officer must personally observe the misdemeanor being committed before making an arrest. Courts generally have held that a misdemeanor is committed in an officer’s “presence” if the officer is able to perceive it through any of the five senses. State v. Hines, 504 P.2d 946 (Az. App. 1973). The “presence” requirement is also satisfied by a defendant’s admission of guilt. People v. Ward, 252 N.W. 2d 514 (Mich. App. 1977). Information from other witnesses may not be used to satisfy the “presence” requirement. People v. Dison, 222 N.W.2d 749 (Mich. 1974). An officer has no authority to arrest without a warrant for a past or completed misdemeanor, even if the offender is still at the crime scene. Exception: W.S. § 7-2-102 (b) (iii) (A) (B) and (C) may allow arrest. If the violation was not committed in the officer’s presence the officer may either: Issue a citation; or Identify the offender and apply for an arrest warrant.
Arrests - MisdemeanorsOne more exception to the “presence”requirement: Wyo. Stat. § 23‑6‑101 allows for the warrantless arrest of persons who violate Wyoming’s Game and Fish laws.
Arrests - MisdemeanorsAnother Exception to W.S. § 7-2-102 (b) (i):W.S. § 31-5-1204 (a) The authority of a police officer to make an arrest is the same as upon an arrest for a felony when the officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the person arrested has committed any of the following offenses and the manner of making arrests shall be as in misdemeanor cases: (i) Negligent homicide or homicide by vehicle; (ii) Driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any substance; (iii) Failure to stop, failure to give information or failure to render reasonable assistance, in the event of an accident resulting in death or personal injuries; (iv) Failure to stop or give information in the event of an accident resulting in damage to a vehicle or other property; (v) Reckless driving; (vi) Racing on the highway; or (vii) Willfully fleeing from or attempting to elude a police officer.
Arrests - MisdemeanorsOne final exception: W.S. § 7-3-508 (c) allows for immediate arrest of an individual willfully violating a temporary stalking order of protection. W.S. § 7-3-509 (c) allows for immediate arrest of an individual willfully violating a final stalking order of protection.