Jun 13

Shannon Ragonesi

WA Legislature Amends Rule For Arrest Without A Warrant

by Shannon Ragonesi

Effective on June 12, 2014, RCW 10.31.100 was amended to read as follows:

A police officer having probable cause to believe that a person has committed or is committing a felony shall have the authority to arrest the person without a warrant. A police officer may arrest a person without a warrant for committing a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor only when the offense is committed in the presence of ((the)) an officer, except as provided in subsections (1) through (11) of this section.

This amendment is intended to reverse the state supreme court decision in State v. Ortega, 177 Wn.2d 116 (2013) which held an arrest by a police officer who was not in the observation post and did not see the gross misdemeanor occurr was not sufficient to support an arrest under the misdemeanor-presence rule.  That case also held the fellow officer rule did not apply to the misdemeanor-presence rule.  By amending the statute from "the" to "an" officer, it allows the misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor to be committed in the presence of an officer, not necessarily the arresting officer.

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