The Arrest Process

When a person is placed under arrest, a criminal case begins. To be “under arrest” means that you are in police custody. An arrest is simply the exercise of police authority over a person.

An arrest does not depend on the use of handcuffs or other physical restraints. A police officer only needs to advise a criminal suspect that he or she is under arrest. The suspect may voluntarily submit to the officer without the use of physical force for an arrest to be complete.

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Circumstances Leading To Arrest

There are many different situations and scenarios that may lead to a person’s arrest. Most often, arrests fall into three main categories.

The Police Officer Observes a Crime

If a police officer sees someone commit a crime, the officer may arrest that individual. These types of arrests are typically serious traffic offenses and DUIs but can also occur any time law enforcement witnesses a crime taking place.

Probable Cause

When a police officer weighs the facts and circumstances of a situation and has reasonable belief that a person is about to commit a crime or has already committed a crime, an arrest may occur. The officer’s reasonable belief allows the arrest based on probable cause.

Arrest Warrants

If a judge or magistrate issues an arrest warrant, this gives law enforcement to make an arrest. Warrants are usually issued after a law enforcement officer submits a sworn statement that outlines the reason for the arrest.

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Arrest warrants generally include:

  • A description of the alleged crime
  • The person suspected of committing the crime
  • The known addresses of the suspect’s home, school and/or employer
  • Written permission for the law enforcement officer to arrest the suspect

If you have been arrested or a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you can connect with a local criminal defense attorney.

Call 877-445-1059 or fill out our free online evaluation form. Connect with a lawyer to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.