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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.


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.

Criminal charges - Discuss your criminal case with a defense attorney

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.

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