Case About Arresting Another Person by Mistake

In Grant v. State, 152 Ga. App. 258, 262 S.E.2d 553 (1979), the police arrested the defendant based on a warrant for another person, conducted a search of the defendant's person, and discovered a small amount of marijuana. The Georgia appellate court reversed the defendant's conviction. The court stated that, even though a police officer acts in good faith in arresting a person other than the person named in a warrant, the warrant will not justify the action. Grant, 152 Ga. App. at 258, 262 S.E.2d at 553. In Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797, 28 L. Ed. 2d 484, 91 S. Ct. 1106 (1971), the police had probable cause to arrest a person named Hill but mistakenly arrested another person, Miller. At the time of the arrest, Miller was at Hill's apartment and fit Hill's description. The Court addressed the questions of whether Miller's arrest was valid and whether a search of Hill's apartment pursuant to Miller's arrest was also valid. As to the arrest, the Court stated: "Based on our own examination of the record, we find no reason to disturb either the findings of the California courts that the police had probable cause to arrest Hill and that the arresting officers had a reasonable, good-faith belief that the arrestee Miller was in fact Hill, or the conclusion that 'when the police have probable cause to arrest one party, and when they reasonably mistake a second party for the first party, then the arrest of the second party is a valid arrest.'" Hill, 401 U.S. at 802, 28 L. Ed. 2d at 489, 91 S. Ct. at 1110.