High Court Upholds Misdemeanor Arrests

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Arkansas Supreme Court has cleared up confusion surrounding misdemeanor arrests, after an appellate court this year said criminal procedures call for citations, not arrests.  Last week, the high court said misdemeanor arrests are also allowed.

The high court said Thursday that the intent "has always been for the use of a summons to be discretionary."

An Arkansas Court of Appeals ruling in April found that a Texarkana businessman was arrested illegally on a misdemeanor warrant, and that he should have received a summons...a citation similar to a traffic ticket that involves no arrest.

Police in Jonesboro, Little Rock and North Little Rock had stopped arresting suspects who were accused of nonviolent misdemeanors.

West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert says the high court's decision clears up a lot of confusion.  Chief Paudert says his department has been "perplexed" on how to proceed with misdemeanor cases.

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