Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VIII. Arrests.


§ 5–115.01. Limitation on period of questioning; advisement of rights; release uncharged; admissibility of confessions.

(a) Any person arrested in the District of Columbia may be questioned with respect to any matter for a period not to exceed 3 hours immediately following his arrest. Such person shall be advised of and accorded his rights under applicable law respecting any such interrogation. In the case of any such arrested person who is released without being charged with a crime, his detention shall not be recorded as an arrest in any official record.

(b) Any statement, admission, or confession made by an arrested person within 3 hours immediately following his arrest shall not be excluded from evidence in the courts of the District of Columbia solely because of delay in presentment.


(Dec. 27, 1967, 81 Stat. 735, Pub. L. 90-226, title III, § 301.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-140.

1973 Ed., § 4-140a.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-302.


§ 5–115.02. Duty to make known; return notice.

Every case of arrest shall be made known within 6 hours thereafter to the lieutenant of police on duty in the precinct in which the arrest is made, by the person making the same; and it shall be the duty of the lieutenant within 12 hours after such notice, to make written return thereof, according to the rules and regulations of the Council of the District of Columbia, together with the name of the party arrested, the offense, the place of arrest, and the place of detention.


(R.S., D.C., § 399; June 11, 1878, 20 Stat. 107, ch. 180, § 6.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-141.

1973 Ed., § 4-142.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(100) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–115.03. Neglect to make for offense committed in presence. [Repealed]

*NOTE: This section was repealed by emergency legislation that will expire on August 1, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*

Repealed.


(R.S., D.C., § 400; Aug. 3, 1968, 82 Stat. 618, Pub. L. 90-452, § 2(b); May 3, 2021, D.C. Act 24-76, § 114, 0 DCR 0.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-142.

1973 Ed., § 4-143.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of this section, see § 114 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Act 24-76, May 3, 2021, 0 DCR 0).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of this section, see § 114 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-437, Oct. 28, 2020, 67 DCR 12993).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of this section, see § 114 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-336, July 22, 2020, 67 DCR 9148).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) repeal of this section, see § 114 of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Second Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-151, Dec. 3, 2020, 67 DCR 9920).


§ 5–115.04. Legal assistance for police in wrongful arrest cases.

(a) In accordance with regulations prescribed by the Council of the District of Columbia, the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia shall represent any officer or member of the Metropolitan Police Department, if he so requests, in any civil action for damages resulting from an alleged wrongful arrest by such officer or member.

(b) If the Corporation Counsel fails or is unable to represent such officer or member when requested to do so, the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall compensate such officer or member for reasonable attorney’s fees (as determined by the court) incurred by him in his defense of the action against him.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 666, Pub. L. 91-358, title V, § 501.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-143.

1973 Ed., § 4-143a.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–115.05. Detention of witnesses.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia shall provide suitable accommodations within the District for the detention of witnesses who are unable to furnish security for their appearance in criminal proceedings, and such accommodations shall be in premises other than those employed for the confinement of persons charged with crime, fraud, or disorderly conduct; and it shall be the duty of all judges in committing witnesses to have regard to the rules and regulations of the Council of the District of Columbia in reference to their detention.


(R.S., D.C., § 401; June 11, 1878, 20 Stat. 107, ch. 180, § 6.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-144.

1973 Ed., § 4-144.

Cross References

Witnesses, material, detention and release, see § 23-1326.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 402(101) of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–115.06. Gaming and bawdy houses and sale of lottery tickets — Arrest of persons; seizure of implements.

If any member of the police force, or if any 2 or more householders shall report in writing, under his or their signature, to the Chief of Police that there are good grounds, stating the same, for believing any house, room, or premises within the police district to be kept or used for any of the following purposes, namely: (1) as a common gaming house, common gaming room, or common gaming premises, for therein playing for wagers of money at any game of chance; (2) as a bawdy house, or as a house of prostitution, or for purposes of prostitution; (3) for lewd and obscene public amusement or entertainment; or (4) for the deposit or sale of lottery tickets or lottery policies, it shall be lawful for the Chief of Police to authorize any member or members of the police force to enter the same, who shall forthwith arrest all persons there found offending against law, and seize all implements of gaming, or lottery tickets, or lottery policies, and convey any person so arrested before the proper court, and bring the articles so seized to the office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(R.S., D.C., § 402; June 11, 1878, 20 Stat. 107, ch. 180, § 6.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-145.

1973 Ed., § 4-145.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 5-115.07.

Cross References

Prostitution, houses of prostitution, and pandering, see § 22-2701.01 et seq.

Search warrants, see § 23-521 et seq.

Editor's Notes

Office of Major and Superintendent of Metropolitan Police abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 5-105.01.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 5–115.07. Gaming and bawdy houses and sale of lottery tickets — Prosecution of persons; destruction of seized articles; closing of premises.

It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to cause all persons arrested in pursuance of the provisions of § 5-115.06 to be rigorously prosecuted, the articles seized to be destroyed, and such room or house to be closed, and not again used for such unlawful purpose.


(R.S., D.C., § 403.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-146.

1973 Ed., § 4-146.

Cross References

Search warrants, disposition of property, see § 23-525.

Editor's Notes

Office of Major and Superintendent of Metropolitan Police abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 5-105.01.