To continue our blog on lawful and unlawful arrests, for an arrest to be lawful the court or official body must have jurisdiction and the authority to arrest the person targeted by the warrant. The arresting officer is required to know the requirements of a valid warrant. If the warrant does not fulfill all of these specifications, the officer may be liable for a false arrest even though he or she did not prepare the warrant.
Also, there is no protection from false arrest if the arresting officer intentionally or recklessly leaves out information, or knowingly provides false information, to procure the warrant. In most cases, however, if the officer mistakenly leaves out or provides inaccurate information, the warrant is still valid.
What Is a Warrantless Arrest?
If all of the known facts at the time of the arrest lead a “reasonably prudent” person to believe that the person arrested had committed a felony, the law enforcement officer can make an arrest without a warrant. Even if a criminal trial later proves the person innocent, this does not mean the officer lacked probable cause. Law enforcement officials can also make warrantless arrests of anyone that is potentially guilty of breach of the peace. This arrest is considered lawful whether the breach of the peace is a felony or misdemeanor and regardless of whether all of the people arrested were actually breaching the peace.