I was arrested with a citizens arrest in the state of calif . state code 837 says a citizens arrest is legal only for a felony . is this cause for dismisal? the question is what you see before you can a get this charge dropped on a plee for dismal on the grounds that the arrest was not legal?
1 Answer from Attorneys
A private person can make an arrest for any public offense (felonies and misdemeanors) committed in their presence as well as for felonies not in their presence based on probable cause.
You don't say what you were arrested for, but if it was a misdemeanor, it is not an invalid arrest under PC 837.
This happens all the time in shoplifting cases - the store security witness the theft, so they are making the misdemeanor arrest, then turning the arrestee over to the police.