Citation in Lieu of Custodial Arrest


Citation header


Jurisdictions should use citation releases by law enforcement in lieu of custodial arrests for non-violent offenses when the individual’s identity is confirmed and no reasonable cause exists to suggest the individual may be a risk to the community or to miss court dates.


The legal principle of pretrial release on least restrictive conditions should start with the initial contact with law enforcement. As such, many arrests for minor offenses can be addressed with the issuance of a citation or summons in lieu of detention. Many jurisdictions now use simple in-field proxy tools to determine if a defendant needs to be taken into custody.

American Bar Association Standards

Standard 10-1.3

  The principle of release under least restrictive conditions favors use of citations by police or summons by judicial officers in lieu of arrest at stages prior to first judicial appearance in cases involving minor offenses.
ABA Criminal Justice Standards on Pretrial Release Third Edition


Citation In Lieu Of Arrest - IACP LJAF 2016
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Using a Proxy Score to Pre-screen Offenders (Bogue, Woodward, Joplin 2006).pdf
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Clarifying The Post-Arrest Process In Wash DC
Clarifying the Post-Arrest Process in Wash DC - CCE 2013.pdf
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