Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–581. Arrests without warrant by law enforcement officers.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on April 16, 2022. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*

(a)(1) A law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant having previously been issued therefor —

(A) a person who he has probable cause to believe has committed or is committing a felony;

(B) a person who he has probable cause to believe has committed or is committing an offense in his presence;

(C) a person who he has probable cause to believe has committed or is about to commit any offense listed in paragraph (2) and, unless immediately arrested, may not be apprehended, may cause injury to others, or may tamper with, dispose of, or destroy evidence; and

(D) a person whom he has probable cause to believe has committed any offense which is listed in paragraph (3) of this section, if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that, unless the person is immediately arrested, reliable evidence of alcohol or drug use may become unavailable or the person may cause personal injury or property damage.

(2) The offenses referred to in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) are the following:

(A) The following offenses specified in the Act entitled “An Act to establish a code of law for the District of Columbia”, approved March 3, 1901, and listed in the following table:

Offense: Specified in -
Assault section 806 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-404).
Unlawful entry section 824 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-3302).
Malicious burning, destruction or injury of another's property section 848 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-303).

(B) The following offense specified in the Omnibus Public Safety Amendment Act of 2006, effective April 24, 2007 (D.C. Law 16-306; 53 DCR 8610):

Offense: Specified in -
Voyeurism section 105 (D.C. Code, sec. 22-3531).

(C) The following offenses specified in the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982, and listed in the following table:

Offense: Specified in -
Theft of property valued less than $250 section 111 [D.C. Official Code, § 22-3211].
Receiving stolen property section 132 [D.C. Official Code, § 22-3232].
Shoplifting section 113 [D.C. Official Code, § 22-3213].

(D) Attempts to commit the following offenses specified in the Act and listed in the following table:

Offense: Specified in -
Theft of property valued in excess of $250 section 111 [D.C. Official Code, § 22-3211].
Unauthorized use of vehicles section 115 [D.C. Official Code, § 22-3215].

(E) The following offenses specified in the Illegal Dumping Enforcement Act of 1994 [Chapter 9 of Title 8], and listed in the following table:

Offense: Specified in -
Unauthorized Disposal of Solid Waste Section 3. [D.C. Official Code, § 8-902]

(F) The following offenses specified in section 113.7 of Title 12A of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (12A DCMR § 113.7).

Offense: Specified in -
Illegal construction section 113.7 (12A DCMR § 113.7)

(3) The offenses which are referred to in paragraph (1)(D) of this section are the following offenses specified in the District of Columbia Traffic Act of 1925, approved March 3, 1925 (43 Stat. 1119; D.C. Official Code § 50-2201.01 et seq.), and listed in the following table:

Offense: Specified in -
Aggravated reckless driving section 9(b-1) (D.C. Official Code § 50-2201.04(b-1))
Fleeing from the scene of an accident section 10(a) (D.C. Official Code § 50-2201.05(a))
Operating or physically controlling a vehicle when under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, when operating ability is impaired by intoxicating liquor, or when the operator's blood, breath, or urine contains the amount of alcohol which is prohibited by section 10(b) section 10(b) (D.C. Official Code § 50-2201.05(b))
Operating a motor vehicle when the operator's permit is revoked or suspended section 13(e) (D.C. Official Code § 50-1403.01(e)).

(a-1) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without an arrest warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed an intrafamily offense as provided in section 16-1031(a).

(a-2) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without an arrest warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense as provided in Chapter 23 of Title 22.

(a-3) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense as provided in §§[22-3312.01] and [22-3312.02].

(a-4) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense of unlawful entry of a motor vehicle as provided in [§ 22-1341].

(a-5) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense of tampering with a detection device as provided in [§ 22-1211].

(a-6) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense of engaging in an unlawful protest targeting a residence as provided in [§ 22-2752].

(a-7) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense of misdemeanor sexual abuse, misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child or minor, or lewd, indecent, or obscene acts, or sexual proposal to a minor, as provided in §§ 22-3006, 22-3010.01, and 22-1312.

(a-8) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense of stalking as provided in § 22-3133.

(a-9) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed the offense of presenting a fraudulent identification document for the purpose of entering an establishment possessing an on-premises retailer’s license, an Arena C/X license, or a temporary license as provided in § 25-1002(b)(2).

(a-10) A law enforcement officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has been directed by a releasing official pursuant to § 23-584(d)(1) as a condition of release on citation to stay away from a particular place or a particular person, and the person has violated that condition.

(b) A law enforcement officer may, even if his jurisdiction does not extend beyond the District of Columbia, continue beyond the District, if necessary, a pursuit commenced within the District of a person who has committed an offense or who he has probable cause to believe has committed or is committing a felony, and may arrest that person in any State the laws of which contain provisions equivalent to those of section 23-901.