People frequently believe that being detained and arrested is equivalent to criminal law. But what is the difference between arrest and detention?
While both situations include dealing with the police, an arrest entails being accused of a crime, while a detention just involves a brief police interrogation. Being arrested often implies being handcuffed, having your Miranda Rights read to you, and being taken into incarceration based on criminal charges. However, the circumstances of why a person is being arrested may differ.
When an officer has probable cause, there is good evidence supporting their suspicions that the subject has committed a crime. Probable cause must typically be established before the police arrest, search, or get a warrant, as the Fourth Amendment requires. An arrest may be made if law enforcement witnesses someone committing a crime in their presence. For instance, police can arrest you if they pull your car over for a traffic stop, and they can see that you are intoxicated.
When someone is arrested or detained, certain procedural requirements apply. Meanwhile, the police also have the power to place you under arrest if they get a warrant from a court. Police must, however, submit a formal affidavit to a court in order to get a warrant, indicating that there is sufficient proof of the criminal charges being alleged. In some situations, the police may request a warrant over the phone for the arrest.
When an arrest occurs, the purpose of the restraint is to either hold the person or to prevent him or her from committing an offense.
Before interfering with individual liberty in the form of arrest or detention, certain prerequisites must be met in both common-law and civil-law jurisdictions. Suppose there is probable cause to believe that a criminal offense has been committed and that the person of interest is probably guilty. In that case, an arrest warrant may be issued by a court or judicial officer. Only the person or class of persons to whom the arrest warrant is issued may lawfully serve the warrant. A police officer or a private citizen may perform this duty in many states.
Arrests without warrants tend to occur more often. Those who commit crimes or are attempting to do so in a police officer’s presence may be arrested on the spot. Likewise, an officer may arrest a person if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe a crime has been committed and that the arrested individual was involved in the crime. In the United States, an indictment is sufficient for arrest because the return of a charge makes a finding of probable cause. Arrests can also be made for individuals on probation or parole who violate their conditions of release, even if criminal conduct is not involved. Often, minor offenses do not result in an arrest but can result in a summons notifying the accused of pending criminal proceedings.