When a police officer says, “You are under arrest,” a journey through the criminal justice system begins. An individual is no longer free to leave at that point because they are in police custody. For the safety of the officers, physical restraints or handcuffs may be used, but they are not always necessary.
An arrest is when a person is formally placed under police restraint until they are released. The circumstances in which a police officer may make an arrest are covered in this article.
The Police Officer Observes a Crime Firsthand
A police officer has the authority to arrest someone they witness committing a crime. For instance, a police officer on foot patrol witnesses a theft involving a stolen purse. The purse thief can be promptly apprehended.
Personal observation arrests frequently take place in connection with traffic offenses. Speeding is observed by a patrol officer using radar or laser speed detection equipment. They can chase after the car and stop the driver. In the majority of states, the officer has the option of either arresting the suspect or issuing a citation. The use of arrests for minor misdemeanor crimes is constrained in some states. Instead of taking the suspect to the police station or sheriff’s office, they mandate that officers issue citations or court summonses.
The criminal charge would be based on the arresting officer’s personal observations, regardless of whether the traffic stop ended in an arrest or citation.
The police officer has reason to believe that a crime has been committed.
Law enforcement can take someone into custody if they have reason to believe that they have committed a crime. “Probable cause” is the term for this reasonable assumption. Police must have an objectively reasonable basis for their belief, based on facts and circumstances, in order to make an arrest; they cannot do so on a whim or a guess.
For instance, a police officer hears a report that a man wearing a yellow shirt just committed a gun-wielding robbery at a liquor store. Then he sees a man running near the store wearing a yellow shirt. The man may be stopped and searched by the officer. The officer has the right to make an arrest if the suspect is armed and has a large amount of cash in his pocket. He is likely responsible for the robbery, according to the evidence.
Probable cause arrest restrictions may be imposed by state law. On the basis of probable cause, police officers typically have less discretion when making an arrest for a misdemeanor crime.
The arrest warrant was obtained by the police officer.
The majority of arrests do not result from recent crimes or intense pursuits. They typically come about as a result of police inquiries. Evidence gathering must take into account the probable cause.
Police may request a search warrant from a judge if they have reason to believe a person committed a crime and they believe there is evidence at the scene.
If there is reason to believe someone committed a crime and the police want to question or charge the suspect, they can apply for an arrest warrant to place the suspect in custody.
Usually, an arrest warrant
- determines the crimes committed and the relevant laws
- identifies the person who is thought to have committed the crimes
- specifies the times and places where the offenses occurred
- identifies any criminal activity victims
- directs any policeman to apprehend and detain that individual
Any police officer or law enforcement organization may arrest the suspect thanks to the arrest warrant. The officers do not necessarily have to be the ones looking into the crime. Through police databases, this information is typically disseminated across the state or even the country. The individual will be made aware of the warrant when an officer checks their identification and criminal history, at which point they can take them into custody.
A warrant check is a standard part of police procedure because there are other types of warrants that the court can issue.
People have certain rights when they are in custody thanks to the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the United States Constitution. A person in custody must be informed of their Miranda Rights before the police can question them. On television, the police are frequently shown reading the Miranda warnings to suspects as soon as they are detained. That is not required, and it is frequently not how events take place in reality.
The Miranda warning does not need to be read right away after an arrest by the police. When transporting a suspect to jail, the Miranda warnings are not necessary. The Miranda warning is only required when a detained suspect is about to be interrogated.
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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.