When a crime is being committed in Oklahoma and no law enforcement officer is present, witnesses to the crime are authorized under the law to employ a citizen’s arrest. A citizen’s arrest is when a regular person enforces the law or prevents a person from obstructing the law. When making a citizen's arrest in Oklahoma, you must enforce the law and not exert unnecessary force.
Approach the suspected lawbreaker and tell him you intend to perform a citizen’s arrest. Also tell him which crime you are placing him under citizen’s arrest for committing. This can be very dangerous, if you are not familiar with the arrestee. If you do not feel safe, simply phone the police and keep the suspect in view.
Take the suspect into your custody. While you are not allowed to use excessive force to apprehend someone committing a crime in Oklahoma, you are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to take the suspect under your control so he may be brought to justice.
Find a nearby police officer with your suspect in tow. If you have a cellular phone, call 911 and tell the operator all the details of the suspected crime. In any case, you will be asked to provide the police with a statement. You may also be called into court to testify at a later time.
Use a citizen’s arrest in Oklahoma only for reputable purposes. Never use an Oklahoma citizen's arrest to maliciously or falsely accuse an innocent person of a crime. There is a severe penalty for this type of deception. In some cases you may be subject to jail time as well as a severe fine.
Learn the intricacies of Oklahoma's state laws. Making a citizen's arrest in Oklahoma requires you to have the knowledge of what is legal and what is illegal in the Sooner State. Crimes such as armed robbery, burglary and the use of street drugs are common in Oklahoma.
- police car up close image by Aaron Kohr from Fotolia.com