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United States v. Watson

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Criminal Procedure keyed to Weinreb

Citation. United States v. Watson, 423 U.S. 411, 96 S. Ct. 820, 46 L. Ed. 2d 598, 1976 U.S. LEXIS 121 (U.S. Jan. 26, 1976)

Brief Fact Summary. A federal postal inspector was informed by an informant that he was scheduled to receive stolen credit cards from the defendant, Watson (the “defendant”ť) in the future. Subsequently, the defendant was arrested without a warrant when the informant confirmed such allegations with the postal inspector.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Government officers are permitted to arrest without a warrant for both misdemeanors and felonies committed in the presence of the officer or when there is probable cause to do so.

Facts. A reliable informant told a federal postal inspector that the defendant had supplied him with stolen credit cards and would do so in the future. The postal inspector was present at the scheduled meeting between the informant and the defendant and proceeded to arrest the defendant without a warrant, after the informant confirmed that he had the stolen credit cards.

Issue. May a government official make an arrest without a warrant where a felony has been committed in the official’s presence?

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