AskDefine | Define arrestment

Extensive Definition

An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the investigation and prevention of crime. The term is Norman in origin and is related to the French word arrêt, meaning "stop".


United States

For serious crimes, the police typically take suspects to a police station or a jail where they will be incarcerated pending a judicial bail determination or an arraignment. In other instances, the police may issue a notice to appear specifying where a suspect is to appear for his arraignment.

United Kingdom

In English law, whether a person has been arrested does not depend on the legal authority of the person enforcing the arrest, rather it depends upon whether he has been deprived of his liberty to go where he pleases. Whether an arrest is lawful depends on whether the police officer or civilian exercising the arrest is acting within the scope of his powers.
Upon arrest a person must ordinarily be taken to a police station as soon as is practicable, but may be released on bail.

Powers of Arrest

United Kingdom

Police officers have the following powers to effect arrests without warrant: Code G to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 deals with powers of arrest under section 24. The wide power under section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 may only be used if it is necessary to:
  • ascertain the person's name or address;
  • to prevent the person
    • causing physical injury to himself or any other person,
    • suffering physical injury,
    • causing loss of or damage to property,
    • committing an offence against public decency, or
    • causing an unlawful obstruction to the highway;
  • to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person;
  • to allow prompt and effective investigation; or
  • to prevent the disappearance of the person.
Police officers also have powers to arrest under warrant. Civilians have restricted powers of arrest without warrant in relation to very serious offences and breach of the peace.

Warnings on arrest

United States

see also Miranda warning The reading of the Miranda warning or similar "caution" to an arrestee advising him or her of rights is not legally required upon arrest. A legal caution is required only when a person has been taken into custody and is interrogated. Legal cautions are mandated in the US, most Commonwealth and other common law jurisdictions, and countries where the right to legal counsel, the right to silence, and the right against self-incrimination have been clearly established.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom a person must be told that he is under arrest , and "told in simple, non-technical language that he could understand, the essential legal and factual grounds for his arrest" . A person must be 'cautioned' when being arrested unless this is impractical due to the behaviour of the arrestee i.e. violence or drunkenness. The caution required in England and Wales states, You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something that you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

Search on arrest

United Kingdom

Otherwise than in relation to terrorist suspects, a police constable has the following powers where he arrests a person outside a police station:

Non-criminal arrests

United States

Breach of a court order can be civil contempt of court, and a warrant may issue for the person's arrest. Some court orders contain authority for a police officer to make an arrest without further order.
If a legislature lacks a quorum, many jurisdictions allow the members present the power to order a call of the house, which orders the arrest of the members who are not present. A member arrested is brought to the body's chamber to achieve a quorum. The member "arrested" does not face prosecution, but may be required to pay a fine to the legislative body.
Ordinarily only human beings can be arrested, but recent and somewhat controversial changes to criminal codes have allowed for the arrest not only of the usual "contraband, evidence, fruits, and instrumentalities" of crime, but also of inanimate objects such as money, automobiles, houses, and other personal property under asset forfeiture.

Following arrest

While an arrest will not necessarily lead to a criminal conviction, it may nonetheless have serious ramifications such as a loss of employment due to inability to pay bail, social stigma and (in some cases) the legal obligation to declare arrests when applying for a job, loan or professional license. These collateral consequences are more severe in the United States than in the UK, where arrests without conviction are not usually considered significant and are not even reported in a standard criminal record check. Even in the US, innocent people can often have their arrest records removed through an expungement or Finding of Factual Innocence. Nevertheless, arrests should not be made lightly as a wrongfully arrested person may sue the arresting authority for damages.
arrestment in German: Festnahme
arrestment in Spanish: Arresto
arrestment in Esperanto: Aresto
arrestment in Hebrew: מעצר
arrestment in Italian: Arresto
arrestment in Hungarian: Előzetes letartóztatás
arrestment in Dutch: Arrestatie
arrestment in Japanese: 逮捕
arrestment in Norwegian: Anholdelse
arrestment in Polish: Areszt
arrestment in Simple English: Arrest
arrestment in Serbian: Притвор
arrestment in Swedish: Arrestering
arrestment in Ukrainian: Арешт
arrestment in Yiddish: ארעסט
arrestment in Chinese: 逮捕
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