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Published on Friday, March 7, 2014

Law enforcement could make arrests for misdemeanors, even if they did not witness the event

HB 2057 allows law enforcement to make arrests on misdemeanor charges for cases where the officer did not witness the alleged crime being committed. Many law enforcement agencies thought they already had this authority, but a recent Supreme Court ruling clarified that the arresting officer must be the one who witnessed the crime. The court case overturned the conviction of a man arrested on drug charges by an officer that didn’t witness the act, but was acting on behalf of the officer that did witness the alleged crime.

Supporters of the bill say it gives more resources to police officers and maintains the safety and anonymity of undercover officers. Again, these would only be misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes like traffic violations.

AWC supported the efforts of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and WASPC who took lead on advocating for the bill. HB 2057 is headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Categories: Law & justice