An arrest is the act of depriving a person of their liberty usually in relation to the purported investigation or prevention of crime and presenting (the arrestee) to a procedure as part of the criminal justice system. The term is Anglo-Norman in origin and is related to the French word arrêt, meaning "stop".
Arrest, when used in its ordinary and natural sense, means the apprehension of a person or the deprivation of a person's liberty. The question whether the person is under arrest or not depends not on the legality of the arrest, but on whether the person has been deprived of personal liberty of movement. When used in the legal sense in the procedure connected with criminal offences, an arrest consists in the taking into custody of another person under authority empowered by law, to be held or detained to answer a criminal charge or to prevent the commission of a criminal or further offence. The essential elements to constitute an arrest in the above sense are that there must be an intent to arrest under the authority, accompanied by a seizure or detention of the person in the manner known to law, which is so understood by the person arrested
- Directorate of Enforcement v Deepak Mahajan, (1994) 3 SCC 440 at ¶46 (SC of India)).
Police and various other bodies have powers of arrest. In some places, the power is more general; for example in England and Wales—with the notable exception of the Monarch, the head of state—any person can arrest "anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing, have committed or be guilty of committing an indictable offence", although certain conditions must be met before taking such action.
Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that, "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile."
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Procedure
- 3 Powers of arrest
- 4 Warnings on arrest
- 5 Search on arrest
- 6 Non-criminal arrests
- 7 Following arrest
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The word "arrest" is Anglo-Norman in origin, derived from the French word arrêt meaning 'to stop or stay' and signifies a restraint of a person. Lexicologically, the meaning of the word arrest is given in various dictionaries depending upon the circumstances in which word is used. There are numerous slang terms for being arrested throughout the world. In British slang terminology, the term "nicked" is often synonymous with being arrested, and "nick" can also refer to a police station, and the term "pinched" is also common. In the United States and France the term "collared" is sometimes used. The term "lifted" is also heard on occasion.
According to Indian law, no formality is needed during the procedure of arrest. The arrest can be made by a citizen, a police officer or a Magistrate. The police officer needs to inform the person being arrested the full particulars of the person's offence and that they are entitled to be released on bail if the offence fits the criteria for being bailable.
Minor crimes and infractions
When there exists probable cause to believe that a person has committed a minor crime, such as petty theft, driving on a suspended license, or disturbing the peace, law enforcement agents typically issue the individual a citation but do not arrest them. The person must then appear in court on the date provided on the citation. Prior to the court date, the prosecution will decide whether to file formal criminal charges against the individual. When the accused appears in court, they will be advised if formal criminal charges have been filed. If charges are filed, they will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty at the initial court hearing, which is referred to as the arraignment. 
Arrests for serious crimes
When a person is arrested for a serious crime, in California for example, the accused is entitled to be released upon reasonable bail. The accused will be advised of the bail amount, which is based upon a bail schedule that is established on an annual basis by the judges in each county. When law enforcement agents believe to have probable cause to arrest a person for a serious crime, the police typically handcuff an arrested person. The accused will be held in a police station or jail pending their ability to post bail. If the accused cannot post bail, they will appear at their arraignment where the judge will determine if the bail set by the schedule should be raised, lowered, or remain at the initial amount. 
Also, in certain states, the prosecution has 48 hours to decide whether or not to file formal charges against the accused. For example, in California, if no formal charges are filed within the 48-hour period, the accused is released from custody. If formal charges are filed, the accused will be asked to appear at their arraignment. At the arraignment, the accused will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty, and the judge will set a bail amount (or refuse to set bail) for the accused. 
In 2010, the FBI estimated that law enforcement agencies made 13,120,947 arrests (excluding traffic violations). Of those persons arrested, 74.5% were male and 69.4 percent of all persons arrested were white, 28.0 percent were black, and the remaining 2.6 percent were of other races.
Powers of arrest
England and Wales
Arrests under English law fall into two general categories—with and without a warrant—and then into more specific subcategories. Regardless of what power a person is arrested under, they must be informed:
- that they are under arrest (as soon as is practicable after the arrest), and
- of the ground for the arrest (at the time of, or as soon as is practicable after, the arrest),
otherwise, the arrest is unlawful. An arrest is still lawful even if the subject escapes custody before the fact they are not under arrest and the grounds can be explained to them.
Arrest with a warrant
A justice of the peace can issue warrants to arrest suspects and witnesses.
Arrest without a warrant
There are four subcategories of arrest without warrant:
- under the provisions of section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), which only applies to constables,
- under the provisions of section 24A of PACE, applies to those who are not constables,
- the power to arrest for a breach of the peace at common law, which applies to everyone (constable or not and includes a power of entry), and
- the powers to arrest otherwise than for an offence, which apply to constables only.
Various individuals with powers of arrest within England/Wales
Warnings on arrest
In the United Kingdom a person must be told that they are 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 or subject to a criminal prosecution procedure, unless this is impractical due to the behaviour of the arrestee (for example, 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 which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."
Deviation from this accepted form is permitted provided that the same information is conveyed.
A Miranda warning is required only when a person has been taken into custody (i.e. is not free to leave) and is being interrogated, and the results of this interrogation are to be used in court. An officer does not have to read a person their Miranda rights if they will not be questioning them any further after their arrest. This warning tells the detainee that they have the right to be silent, the right to have counsel present during questioning, and warns them that whatever they say can and will be used against them. Based on Miranda v. Arizona, police now must inform the detainee of their Miranda rights. Thus if one is interrogated over the phone, the Miranda rights do not apply. Unlike the British warning, police officers across the country generally keep the Miranda rights warning in the same form as shown below:
"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney present at questioning. If you can not afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?"
Search on arrest
England and Wales
Breach of a court order can be civil contempt of court, and a warrant for the person's arrest may be issued. 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.
While an arrest will not necessarily lead to a criminal conviction, it may nonetheless in some jurisdictions have serious ramifications such as absence from work, social stigma, and in some cases, the legal obligation to disclose a conviction when a person applies for a job, a loan or a professional license. In the United States, a person who was not found guilty after an arrest can remove their arrest record through an expungement or (in California) a finding of factual innocence. Of course, there are times when an arrest can be wrongful, and the charges are sometimes dropped right afterwards; the cleared person then has the choice to file a complaint or a lawsuit if they choose to. Legal action is sometimes filed against the government after a wrongful arrest.
For convictions, the collateral consequences are more severe in the United States than in the UK, where arrests without conviction do not appear in standard criminal record checks and need not be disclosed, whereas in the United States, people have to expunge or (if the case goes to court) seal arrest without convictions, or if the charges are dropped. However, in the UK, 'Enhanced' CRB disclosures permit a Chief Constable to disclose this data if they believe it relevant to the post for which the CRB disclosure was applied for.
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- Arbitrary arrest and detention
- Arrest without warrant
- Arrestable offence (obsolete term in UK law)
- Citizen's arrest (or any person arrest)
- False arrest
- House arrest
- Individuals with powers of arrest
- Law enforcement agency
- Mass arrest
- Nightwalker Statute
- Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
- Pre-dawn raid
- Remand of a suspect
- Resisting arrest
- section 24a, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
- Partridge, Eric and Paul BealeA dictionary of slang and unconventional English, p. 790, 886.
- Hérail, René James and Edwin A. Lovatt, Dictionary of Modern Colloquial French, p. 194.
- Partridge, Eric and Paul BealeA dictionary of slang and unconventional English, p. 681.
- "Indian Kanoon -Shri D.K. Basu,Ashok K. Johri vs State Of West Bengal,State Of U.P". IndianKanoon.org. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
- Chapter V, Code of Criminal Procedure
- FBI Uniform Crime Reports
- section 28, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
- Katz, Jason M. (2003). "Atwater v. Lago Vista: Buckle-Up or Get Locked-Up: Warrantless Arrests for Fine-Only Misdemeanors Under the Fourth Amendment" (PDF). Akron Law Review (University of Akron School of Law) 36 (3): 496–498.
- Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, section 28.
- Taylor v Thames Valley Police  EWCA Civ 858,  1 WLR 3155,  3 All ER 503 (6 July 2004), Court of Appeal
- Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, para. 10.5.
- The Future of Getting Arrested - "What they're gonna do when they come for you," The Atlantic, Jan.-Feb. 2015
- A person's rights when stopped, questioned or arrested by the police (Directgov, England and Wales)
- Pre-Filing Investigation A pre-filing investigation takes place before a person is arrested and charged for a crime. A pre-filing investigation is when a person may be under investigation for a crime, but criminal charges have yet to be brought against him or her.