The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from arbitrary government searches and seizures. The arrest of a person by a police officer is a sort of “seizure” that is covered by this constitutional clause.
What is an Arrest?
Although there is no specific definition for the term “arrest,” it is often defined as when an officer restricts a person’s freedom. Detention or arrest has happened if a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would not feel free to exit contact with the authorities.
The basic norm is that the police must get an arrest warrant before making an arrest. If an officer has reasonable cause to suspect that a crime was committed and there isn’t enough time to acquire a warrant, the officer may conduct an arrest without a warrant. Individuals who engage in crime in the officer’s presence may also be arrested without a warrant.
The Miranda warnings must be delivered to the arrestee by the arresting officer when the arrest is made. These notices inform an arrestee of his or her right to counsel and to stay quiet. Any comments made after the arrest may be excluded from the trial if these warnings are not presented to an arrestee as soon as he or she is brought into custody.
Arrest Warrant vs. Warrantless Arrests
A court order instructing authorities to arrest a specific individual is known as an arrest warrant. Officers must persuade a court that probable cause (a reasonable suspicion based on facts) exists for the arrest to obtain an arrest warrant. Typically, police present judges with an affidavit, which is a written declaration signed under oath that describes the facts that support their judgment that the suspect committed a crime. After prosecutors charge a person with a crime, the majority of arrest warrants are issued. Arrest warrants usually specify the offense for which a court has granted permission to arrest and may limit how an officer can conduct an arrest.
An officer may be required to conduct an arrest before obtaining a warrant in particular circumstances. The seriousness of the offense is frequently the determining factor in this choice.
- Felonies. Officers can legitimately arrest a person in public without a warrant if they have reasonable grounds to think a crime has been committed.
- Misdemeanors. Since misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, officers can only execute a warrantless misdemeanor arrest if the suspect committed the offense while the officer is present.
- Review by a judge. When someone is arrested without a warrant and sent to jail, a court must determine whether there was reasonable suspicion for the arrest. The court receives a written affidavit from the officers, together with a summary of the facts to back up their probable cause judgment. The suspect gets freed from jail if the court determines that there was no plausible reason for the arrest.
If you’ve been arrested, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. Before answering any inquiries, it’s extremely crucial to seek the advice of a lawyer. Autrey Law Firm has a team of experienced criminal law attorneys who will give you the right advice and protect your rights.