Can I make a citizen's arrest in Virginia?

Asked 8 months ago - Springfield, VA

For example if there is a teenager trespassing in my backyard, can I make a citizen's arrest on him/her?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. David A Oblon


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . One cannot arrest and detain a trespasser as a "citizen's arrest" in Virginia in most circumstances. In fact, if one does, he could be criminally charged with Abduction!

    It is best to call the police to report a trespasser.

  2. Todd Michael Zinicola


    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I have a hard time envisioning a scenario wherein this would go well for you. Best to just post a sign and/or contact the police if it happens repeatedly.

  3. Robert Jason De Groot


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Take pictures then call the cops.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I... more

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