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May 24, 2016

What is the procedure for arrests without a warrant in New York?

How does arrest without a warrant work in general?

A person who’s committed or is believed to have committed a crime and who’s at liberty in the state is able to, under certain circumstances, be arrested for such a crime even if no arrest warrant has been issued and even if no criminal action has yet been commenced in any criminal court.

When and where is an arrest without a warrant authorized?

A police officer is allowed to arrest a person for any offense when they have reasonable cause to believe that this person has committed such a crime in their presence, and a crime when they have reasonable cause to believe that this person has committed such a crime, whether in their presence or otherwise. A police officer is allowed to arrest a person for a petty offense only when the crime was committed or believed by the officer to have been committed within the geographical area of where the police officer is employed or within one hundred yards of this area, and this arrest is made in the county where the offense was committed or believed to have been committed or in an adjoining county. Except that the police officer might follow this person in continuous close pursuit, starting either in the county where the offense was or is believed to have been committed or in an adjoining county, in and through any county in the state, and may arrest them in any county where they are apprehended. A police officer is allowed to arrest a person for a crime whether or not the crime was committed within the geographical area of the police officer’s employment, and they are allowed to make this arrest within the state, regardless of where the crime was committed. In addition, they are allowed to, if necessary, pursue this person outside the state and are allowed to arrest them in any state where the laws contain provisions equivalent to those of section 140.55 of the state of New York’s penal code.

A police officer must arrest a person, and must not attempt to reconcile the parties or mediate, where the officer has reasonable cause to believe that a felony has been committed by this person against a member of the same family or household, or a duly served order of protection or else a special order of conditions is in effect, or an order which the defendant has knowledge of because they were present in court when the order was issued, where the order appears to have been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction of this or any other state, territorial or tribal jurisdiction.

As you can see, it’s important to understand that while in general it’s required to have an arrest warrant prior to going ahead and arresting a suspect in a crime, this is not only not always the case, but the exceptions are such that not properly understanding the law can easily end with you in jail. That’s why it’s important to note both how an arrest without a warrant works in general, as well as when and where such arrests without warrants are in fact authorized. Since these arrests aren’t authorized in all cases and in all areas, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the penal code in the state of New York.

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