Citizens arrest in Georgia

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by foshizzle, May 9, 2007.

  1. foshizzle

    foshizzle New Member

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    I searched and I know it's been batted around, but I didn't see a thread devoted entirely to it.

    I guess my question is... if I see a felony being committed, and I feel compelled to stop it AND/OR detain the perpetrator, what are my options? If I have a GFL and I am legally carrying a firearm, may I use the firearm in the same manner a police officer would use his i.e. to preempt a possible escalation by the perpetrator or even worse, stop him from using his own deadly weapon?

    OK... now that the actual question is aside. Since I CCW regularly, I have to run through scenarios in my mind. It's smart to at least think about them, I figure. I've seen and read enough on the news that I'm not assuming that if I'm in a store that is held-up and I just 'stay-down' that I won't get killed just on general principles. So... if I'm in a store, and it's being robbed, and I see a firearm, and that firearm is close enough to be pointed at me... I'm drawing and dropping the SOB. I figure the courts can sort it out, at least I'm not the guy shot execution style in the freezer.

    On the other hand.. say I see a rape or a beating in progress. Say I even see someone set on fire (recent news). I'm not letting the guy walk away, nor am I going to shoot him in the back. So, it's likely I'll just hold him at gunpoint and hope he doesn't run (since I won't shoot him in the back). Will I be sued for doing so? Will the first cop on the scene shoot me!?

    Do I need to yell "Citizens arrest"... or something along those lines?

    I CCW primarily for my own protection. I just wonder what I would/should do if I witness something violent like an obvious felony. On one hand, I don't want to play cop since I'm not, but on the other hand, I don't want to let a criminal get away when I was right there to stop it.

    I read these stories and I think... damn... if I were there it wouldn't happen. What if I WAS there :shock:
     
  2. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    Check out OCGA 17-4-60 for info on citizen's arrest and 16-3-21 for the use of deadly force.

    You should be able to find your answers in those code sections, but I'll be happy to expand on that with info from the LE handbook if you need it.
     

  3. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    Also see 17-4-61 and 17-4-62
     
  4. foshizzle

    foshizzle New Member

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    So, the burden is on me to know what is a felony and what is not.


    So I guess in both the situations described above I am golden. That makes me feel a bit better. I guess I would have to prove that I "reasonably believed" I was in danger and get a jury to agree. I think shooting a guy with a gun robbing a place I'm in is reasonable.

    I do kinda wish the "arrest" procedures were iterated clearly.

    A private person may arrest an offender if

    Since I don't carry handcuffs can I arrest him with a .45 to the back of the head?
     
  5. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    So I guess in both the situations described above I am golden. That makes me feel a bit better. I guess I would have to prove that I "reasonably believed" I was in danger and get a jury to agree. I think shooting a guy with a gun robbing a place I'm in is reasonable.

    I do kinda wish the "arrest" procedures were iterated clearly.

    A private person may arrest an offender if

    Since I don't carry handcuffs can I arrest him with a .45 to the back of the head?[/quote:3t7py7y1]

    Read 17-4-60 again. It says that you can arrest for an offense in your presence without specifying felony or misdemeanor. It then makes further mention of arresting on reasonable suspicion for an escaping felon. I do believe that it is talking about two seperate issues. You can make a citizens arrest for shoplifting, which is generally a misdemeanor (can be prosecuted as a felony depednign on dollar amount or number of prior convictions).



    As for the .45 to the back of the head, I wouldn't advise that for a shoplifter...
     
  6. Dan H

    Dan H New Member

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    :lol:
     
  7. NetAdminWithGun

    NetAdminWithGun New Member

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    Now that is inventory control.

    Great thread to start.

    Now would you arrest/detain for drunk mexicans running people off the road? (My other post(was in TN so i didn't)
     
  8. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

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    This thread makes me wonder about one of the threads on PG, where a guy was arrested and convicted of having a firearm at a public gathering just because there were bored teenagers hanging out in the parking lot.

    I don't mean to get to graphic, but what if you happend upon a group of guys trying to have their way with an unwilling participant, would/could you get into trouble for being @ a PG?!? :?

    It would seem this group of guys are "gathering" for an event, although very terrible, and illeagle, and of course I am sure anyone on this board would stop it no matter what the consciquences. I know it probably isn't likely but, I wouldn't put it past some anti to try.

    ...brain starting to roll and hurt here but....

    In some LEO/DA/Judges opinions, could someone get charged if there where multiple BG, say 2 or 3 +, could that be construed as a PG? :x

    The more I think about our PG laws the more :censored: I become.

    I don't know where I am going with this, I guess these questions just crossed my mind.
     
  9. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    As long as I stop the attack I will deal with the legal consequences later.

    Morally, I must act regardless of any ridiculous laws that may say otherwise.


    I highly doubt they are going to call a bunch of guys raping someone a public gathering.
     
  10. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    A couple of things crossed my mind as I was reading that above...

    If you pull your firearm when arriving and;
    a) the bad guys scatter, was it ever a public gathering?
    or
    b) the bad guys turned to attack, is a pile of "2 or 3+" dead bodies still a public gathering?
     
  11. S&W 40

    S&W 40 Active Member

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    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  12. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

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    I am with you here as well, in fact I assume any human with any decency would feeled an overwhelming desire to do so.

    I just brought up the "question" because it seems more and more that the whole PG thing could be used against us by anyone in charge, just cause they don't like our looks, or that fact that we carry. :x

    It just points out the potential for even greater abuse if someone had a burr up their rear.
     
  13. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

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    :rotfl:
    I guess it depends on where it occured, if it was in a Mcdonalds you would be alright because the courts have declared McDs as not a PG. :p
     
  14. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    I've wondered that as well.

    If I use my firearm to defend myself against someone, can I be charged since we were both gathered for the "common purpose" of a mugging?