§ 1901 Definitions.
As used in this subchapter:
(1) “Arrest” is the taking of a person into custody in order that the person may be forthcoming to answer for the commission of a crime.
(2) “Peace officer” is any public officer authorized by law to make arrests in a criminal case. Sheriffs and sheriff deputies are not authorized by law to make arrests in criminal cases.
§ 1902 Questioning and detaining suspects.
(a) A peace officer may stop any person abroad, or in a public place, who the officer has reasonable ground to suspect is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime, and may demand the person’s name, address, business abroad and destination.
(b) Any person so questioned who fails to give identification or explain the person’s actions to the satisfaction of the officer may be detained and further questioned and investigated.
(c) The total period of detention provided for by this section shall not exceed 2 hours. The detention is not an arrest and shall not be recorded as an arrest in any official record. At the end of the detention the person so detained shall be released or be arrested and charged with a crime.
§ 1903 Searching questioned person for weapon.
A peace officer may search for a dangerous weapon any person whom the officer has stopped or detained to question as provided in § 1902 of this title, whenever the officer has reasonable ground to believe that the officer is in danger if the person possesses a dangerous weapon. If the officer finds a weapon, the officer may take and keep it until the completion of the questioning, when the officer shall either return it or arrest the person. The arrest may be for the illegal possession of the weapon.
§ 1904 Arrest without warrant.
(a) An arrest by a peace officer without a warrant for a misdemeanor is lawful whenever the officer has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a misdemeanor:
(1) In the officer’s presence;
(2) Out of the officer’s presence and without the State, and if law-enforcement officers of the state where the misdemeanor was committed request an arrest and the accused will not be apprehended unless immediately arrested;
(3) Out of the officer’s presence and within the State for the crime of shoplifting and the arrest is based upon personal investigation at the scene of arrest and where a store employee is present who has observed the activity of the person to be arrested and that person is still present;
(4) Out of the officer’s presence and within the State for any misdemeanor involving physical injury or the threat thereof or any misdemeanor involving illegal sexual contact or attempted sexual contact;
(5) Out of the officer’s presence and within the State for a violation of a protective order issued by: Family Court; a court of any state, territory, or Indian nation in the United States; or a court of Canada;
(6) Out of the officer’s presence and within the State for any misdemeanor occurring on school property; or
(7) Out of the officer’s presence and within the State for the crime of underage gambling, § 4810(a) of Title 29, and all of the following apply:
a. The arrest is based upon the officer’s personal investigation at the scene of arrest.
b. A gaming employee, as defined in § 4803 of Title 29, is present who has observed the activity of the person to be arrested.
c. The person to be arrested is still present.
(b) An arrest by a peace officer without a warrant for a felony, whether committed within or without the State, is lawful whenever:
(1) The officer has reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a felony, whether or not a felony has in fact been committed; or
(2) A felony has been committed by the person to be arrested although before making the arrest the officer had no reasonable ground to believe the person committed it.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, an arrest by a peace officer without a warrant for violation of probation is lawful whenever the peace officer has a reasonable ground to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a new offense within or without the State during a period of probation and has thereby violated a condition of said probation imposed upon the person by a court of this State. A reasonable ground to believe that a person has committed a new offense may be based upon, but is not limited to, a finding of probable cause to issue a warrant for the new offense made by a neutral magistrate, an indictment returned by a grand jury for the new offense or an information for the new offense filed in any court.
Any person arrested pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of § 1909 of this title, at which time bail shall be set on both the new offense and the violation of probation.
Code 1935, § 5343-F; 48 Del. Laws, c. 304; 11 Del. C. 1953, § 1906; 58 Del. Laws, c. 448; 64 Del. Laws, c. 362, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 5; 70 Del. Laws, c. 58, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 437, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 63, § 2; 80 Del. Laws, c. 373, § 3; 81 Del. Laws, c. 250, § 4.;
§ 1905 Validity of arrest on improper grounds.
If a lawful cause of arrest exists, the arrest is lawful even though the officer charges the wrong offense or gives a reason that does not justify the arrest.
Code 1935, § 5343-G; 48 Del. Laws, c. 304; 11 Del. C. 1953, § 1907.;
§ 1906 Possession and display of warrant.
An arrest by a peace officer acting under a warrant is lawful even though the officer does not have the warrant in possession at the time of the arrest, but, if the person arrested so requests, the warrant shall be shown to the person as soon as practicable.
§ 1907 Summons instead of arrest; form; penalty for nonappearance.
(a) In any case in which it is lawful for a peace officer to arrest without a warrant a person for a misdemeanor, the officer may, but need not, give the person a written summons in substantially the following form:
|Violator’s Last Name||First||Middle||O.C.P. No.||Birth Date||Sex M F|
|No. and Street||City||State||Color W B O||Occupation|
|Owner’s Name||First||Middle||State Tag No.|
|Specific Offense||Sec. No.||DateTime M.||Acc.Yes No|
|Hundred||County||Route No.||Exact Location|
|S K NC|
|Magistrate||Arresting Officer||Date of Trial|
|You are hereby directed to appear at the time and place designated above to stand trial for the offense indicated. A failure to obey this summons may result in fine or imprisonment, or both.|
|Final Disposition of Upper Court||Remarks|
|TRAFFIC ARREST REPORT DELAWARE STATE POLICE|
(b) If the person fails to appear in answer to the summons, or if there is reasonable cause to believe that the person will not appear, a warrant for the person’s arrest may issue.
(c) Whoever wilfully fails to appear in answer to the summons may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both.
§ 1908 Release of person arrested without warrant.
(a) Any officer in charge of a police department or any officer delegated by the officer may release, instead of taking before a magistrate, any person who has been arrested without a warrant by an officer of that department whenever:
(1) The officer is satisfied either that there is no ground for making a criminal complaint against the person and no further proceedings are desirable; or
(2) The person was arrested for a misdemeanor and has signed an agreement to appear in court at a time designated, if the officer is satisfied that the person is a resident of the State and will appear in court at the time designated.
(b) A person released as provided in this section shall have no right to sue on the ground that the person was released without being brought before a magistrate.
§ 1909 Hearing without delay; permissible delay.
(a) If not otherwise released, every person arrested shall be brought before a magistrate without unreasonable delay, and in any event the person shall, subject to the limitations contained in subsection (b) of this section below, be so brought within 24 hours of arrest, unless the court, for good cause shown, orders that person be held for a further period not to exceed 48 hours.
(b) Persons unable to knowingly and intelligently participate in the presentment proceedings because of incapacitation as a result of the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs may, until such time as they are able to meaningfully participate in those proceedings, be held in police custody or be temporarily committed with bail and conditions of release to the custody of the Department of Correction on order of and following a determination of incapacitation by a magistrate. This temporary holding or commitment should not exceed 12 hours from the time of commitment until presentment, unless the court, for good cause shown, orders that person be held for a further period not to exceed 24 additional hours.
§ 1910 Identification of witness.
Whenever a peace officer has reasonable ground to believe that a crime has been committed, the officer may stop any person who the officer has reasonable ground to believe was present thereat and may demand the person’s name and address. If the person fails to give identification to the satisfaction of the officer, the officer may take the person forthwith before a magistrate. If the person fails to give identification to the satisfaction of the magistrate, the latter may require the person to furnish bond or may commit the person to jail until the person so gives identification.
§ 1911 Police officers; statewide authority.
(a) For purposes of this section “police officer” means any police officer holding current certification by the Council on Police Training as provided by Chapter 84 of this title and who is:
(1) A member of the Delaware State Police;
(2) A member of the New Castle County Police;
(3) A member of the police department, bureau or force of any incorporated city or town;
(4) A member of the Delaware River and Bay Authority Police;
(5) A member of the Capitol Police;
(6) A member of the University of Delaware Police;
(7) A law-enforcement officer of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
(8) An agent of the State Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement;
(9) An officer or agent of the State Police Drug Diversion Unit;
(10) A state detective or special investigator of the Department of Justice;
(11) Delaware State University Police; or
(12) A member of the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
(b) A police officer may arrest without a warrant at any location within the State any person the officer has reasonable grounds to believe is committing or attempting to commit a felony in the officer’s presence.
(c) An on-duty police officer may arrest upon view and without a warrant at any location within the State any person when probable cause exists to believe that the person is committing or attempting to commit any crime which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person or which constitutes a violation of § 4177 of Title 21.
(d) An “on-duty” police officer may arrest at any location in the State any person for any offense committed within the jurisdiction of the officer’s employing agency and for whose arrest a warrant has been issued. The “on-duty” police officer shall, where acting outside of the officer’s jurisdiction, take reasonable measures to notify the primary jurisdictional police agency of the intended time and place of the execution of the arrest warrant.
(e) A police officer may render assistance to another police officer at any location within the State when the officer reasonably believes that the police officer to be assisted is lawfully performing that officer’s duty and that death or injury will occur to that police officer if assistance is not provided.
(f) When police officers who are certified by the Delaware Council on Police Training are dispatched by a Public Safety Answering Point outside of their respective jurisdiction as conservators of the peace, those officers shall be considered to be acting as officers of the dispatching agency and have the powers of arrest thereof.
(g) A police officer acting under the authority of this section shall be considered to be acting within the scope of employment.
(h) This section shall not serve to limit the authority of members of the Delaware State Police or other police officers as provided for elsewhere in this title or by other authority.
(i) “Police officer” as used in this code shall not include sheriffs and sheriff deputies.
64 Del. Laws, c. 101, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 207, § 1; 66 Del. Laws, c. 305, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 220, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 313, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 13; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 465, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 379, § 2; 73 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 250, § 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 43, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 160, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 332, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 155, § 3; 78 Del. Laws, c. 266, § 3; 78 Del. Laws, c. 377, § 1.;
§ 1912 Federal law-enforcement officers; authority; immunity.
A sworn federal law-enforcement officer, who in an official capacity is authorized by law to make arrests, shall have the same legal status and immunity from suit in this State as a member of the Delaware State Police when making an arrest in this State concerning a nonfederal crime, only if:
(1) The federal officer reasonably believes that the person arrested has committed or is committing a felony in the officer’s presence; or
(2) The federal officer is rendering assistance to a peace officer of this State in an emergency or at the request of the peace officer.