An arrest in Florid can be made with or without a warrant. However, most arrests in Florida are made by police officers acting without a warrant. An arrest without a warrant is governed by Fla. Stat. §901.15, which identifies circumstances in which an officer may arrest without warrant. Chief among those is the exception for crimes committed in the officer’s presence, and the exception for felonies that the officer has a reasonable basis to believe were committed by the person to be arrested. See Fla. Stat. §901.15(1), (2), (3). See generally Thomas v. State, 614 So. 2d 468 (Fla. 1993) (arrest not proper when defendant only violated non-criminal municipal ordinance). The other salient portions of §901.15 allow warrantless arrests in situations involving domestic violence, possession of a firearm in violation of a domestic violence injunction, violation of pretrial release in a domestic violence case, child abuse, misdemeanor battery and graffiti-related criminal mischief, assault on a law enforcement officer, and trespass in a secure area of an airport. In addition, Florida statute expressly vests in federal law enforcement officers the power to make warrantless arrests and to perform related law enforcement functions. Fla. Stat. §901.1505(2)(a); Fla. Stat. §901.1505(2)(b)-(d).
Fla. Stat. §901.02 contemplates arrest by warrant. A warrant may be issued if the judge “from the examination of the complainant and other witnesses, reasonably believes that the person complained against has committed an offense within [the judge’s] jurisdiction.” See also Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.121. An arrest may also be made on the filing of a prosecutor’s information pursuant to Fla. Stat. §9: Upon the filing of an information, the clerk of the circuit court shall docket the information and shall, without leave or order of the court first being had and obtained, issue a capias for the arrest of the person charged; and the clerk shall likewise issue any and all other necessary process incident to the information.
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