If a police officer gives a motorist a traffic ticket, is that technically considered an arrest?
I know that some police behaviors are as follows:
- Detaining — with reasonable suspicion
- Investigating — with reasonable suspicion
- Questioning — potential suspects or witnesses
- Arresting — with probable cause
During a traffic stop, the police officer clearly has probable cause sufficient for an arrest because s/he presumably witnessed the offense.
Is there a separate category specifically for traffic stops? Or is that considered a subset of the broader category of making an arrest?
The reason for this question is the language in this California statute:
- Whenever any person is arrested for any violation of this code, not declared to be a felony, the arrested person shall be taken without unnecessary delay before a magistrate within the county in which the offense charged is alleged to have been committed and who has jurisdiction of the offense and is nearest or most accessible with reference to the place where the arrest is made in any of the following cases:
(a) When the person arrested fails to present his driver's license or other satisfactory evidence of his identity for examination.
(b) When the person arrested refuses to give his written promise to appear in court.
(c) When the person arrested demands an immediate appearance before a magistrate.
(d) When the person arrested is charged with violating Section 23152.