☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 544

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2005, 2 histories    bottom

  544.170.  Twenty hours detention on arrest without warrant — twenty-four hours detention for certain offenses, rights of confinee — violations, penalty. — 1.  All persons arrested and confined in any jail or other place of confinement by any peace officer, without warrant or other process, for any alleged breach of the peace or other criminal offense, or on suspicion thereof, shall be discharged from said custody within twenty-four hours from the time of such arrest, unless they shall be charged with a criminal offense by the oath of some credible person, and be held by warrant to answer to such offense.

  2.  In any confinement to which the provisions of this section apply, the confinee shall be permitted at any reasonable time to consult with counsel or other persons acting on the confinee's behalf.

  3.  Any person who violates the provisions of this section, by refusing to release any person who is entitled to release pursuant to this section, or by refusing to permit a confinee to consult with counsel or other persons, or who transfers any such confinees to the custody or control of another, or to another place, or who falsely charges such person, with intent to avoid the provisions of this section, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.


(RSMo 1939 § 4346, A.L. 2001 H.B. 80, A.L. 2005 H.B. 353)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3952; 1919 § 3200; 1909 § 4418


Concealment of prisoners to avoid service of habeas corpus writ, penalty, 532.650

Custodian to furnish prisoners copy of process within six hours after demand, penalty for failure, 532.630

Police in city of St. Louis may refuse access to prisoners by shysters or attorneys soliciting business, 84.230

Rearrest of person discharged on habeas corpus, penalty, 532.660

(1961) The fact that a peace officer violates a statute by holding a person in excess of the time provided by law without charging him with a criminal offense does not, as a matter of law, render the prisoner's confession involuntary. State v. Bridges (Mo.), 349 S.W.2d 214.

(1963) Failure to release a prisoner in the time prescribed by this section without having him charged with a criminal offense does not, as a matter of law, render the prisoner's confession involuntary, but such facts together with long period of interrogation were evidence of mental duress and coercion necessitating inclusion in instruction governing voluntariness of defendant's confessions the submission of issue of mental coercion. State v. Williams (Mo.), 369 S.W.2d 408.

(1966) A prisoner's confession is not rendered involuntary as a matter of law by the fact that a peace officer violates a statute by holding a person in excess of the time provided by law without charging him with a criminal offense. State v. Paghe (Mo.), 403 S.W.2d 635.

(1972) Detention beyond statutory limit, standing alone, is not sufficient to make an otherwise voluntary statement involuntary.  Roberts v. State (Mo.), 476 S.W.2d 490.

(1976) Held that confinement for more than twenty hours is not a wrongful confinement in a constitutional sense and violation of the statute would not be grounds for suppressing a confession. United States v. Rose (C.A. Mo.), 541 F.2d 750.

(1996)  Statute is not intended to be an investigative tool for police, but sets a limit on the time a suspect may be detained, whose arrest was otherwise lawful, while determining whether there is sufficient evidence of a crime to take to a judge or prosecutor.  "Therefore, any interpretation of section 544.170 which includes authority for making investigative arrests would clearly be unconstitutional."  U.S. v. Roberts, 928 F.Supp. 910 (W.D. Mo.).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2005 ----

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544.170 8/28/2005
544.170 8/28/2001 8/28/2005

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