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 Anglo-Norman in origin and is related to the French word arrêt, meaning "stop".
Upon arrest a person must ordinarily be taken to a police station as soon as is practicable, but may be released on bail.
Police officers have the following powers to effect arrests without warrant:
|Provision||Extent of Power|
|Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, section 24|| Power to arrest |
|Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Schedule 2||Various specific powers of arrest|
|Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, Part X||Cross-border powers of arrest|
|Common law||Breach of the peace|
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:
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.
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.
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 person||Search property||Seize property|
|including a right to require a suspect to remove an outer coat, jacket or gloves (but nothing else) and to search the arrested person's mouth||any premises in which the person arrested was when arrested or immediately before|
|Danger||if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the arrested person may have articles that can present a danger to himself or others||if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the person searched might use the property to cause physical injury to himself or to any other person|
|Escape||to the extent that is reasonably required if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the person to be searched may have concealed on him anything which he might use to assist him to escape from lawful custody||other than an item subject to legal privilege, if he has reasonable grounds for believing that he might use it to assist him to escape from lawful custody|
|Evidence||to the extent that is reasonably required if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the person to be searched may have concealed on him anything which might be evidence relating to an offence||if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that there is evidence relating to the offence for which the person has been arrested||other than an item subject to legal privilege, if he has reasonable grounds for believing that it is evidence of an offence or has been obtained in consequence of the commission of an offence|
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.