Arrest: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chicago Police Department officers arrest a man
Lucy Parsons after her arrest for rioting during an unemployment protest at Hull House in Chicago, Illinois. 1915

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".

The word "Arrest" is derived from the French word 'Arreter' 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.

The word 'arrest' when used in its ordinary and natural sense, means the apprehension or restraint or the deprivation of ones personal liberty. The question whether the person is under arrest or not,depends not on the legality of the arrest, but on whether he has been deprived of his personal liberty to go where he pleases. When used in the legal sense in the procedure connected with criminal offenses, an arrest consists in the taking into custody of another person under authority empowered by law, for the purpose of holding or detaining him to answer a criminal charge or of preventing the commission of a criminal offense. 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. (Para 46 of Directorate of Enforcement v. Deepak Mahajan (1994)3 SCC 440)



United States

For serious crimes, the police typically handcuff the suspect and bring him/her to a police station or a jail where he/she will be incarcerated pending a judicial bail determination or an arraignment. In other instances, the police may issue a notice to appear, specifying where and when a suspect is to appear for his arraignment.


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.[1] Whether an arrest is lawful depends on whether the police officer or civilian exercising the arrest is acting within the scope of her or his powers.

Upon arrest a person must ordinarily be taken to a police station as soon as is practicable,[2] but may be released on bail.

Powers of Arrest

United Kingdom

England and Wales

Warnings on arrest

United States

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,[3] and "told in simple, non-technical language that he could understand, the essential legal and factual grounds for his arrest".[4] 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 which you may later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.[5]

Deviation from this accepted form is permitted provided that the same information is conveyed.

Search on arrest

United Kingdom

England and Wales

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 absence from work, social stigma, and in some cases, the legal obligation to disclose an incidence of arrest when the person applies for a job, a loan or a 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 recorded in a standard criminal record check. In the US, a person who was not found guilty after an arrest can remove his arrest record through an expungement or Finding of Factual Innocence. A legal action is sometimes filed against the government for wrongful arrest.

See also


  1. ^ Lewis v Chief Constable of the South Wales Constabulary [1991] 1 All ER 206.
  2. ^ Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, section 30.
  3. ^ Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, section 28.
  4. ^ Taylor v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police 2004 EWCA Civ 858.
  5. ^ Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, para. 10.5.

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to An Arrest article)

From Wikisource

An Arrest
by Ambrose Bierce
From Present at a Hanging and Other Ghost Stories, a collection of horror short stories.


Having murdered his brother-in-law, Orrin Brower of Kentucky was a fugitive from justice. From the county jail where he had been confined to await his trial he had escaped by knocking down his jailer with an iron bar, robbing him of his keys and, opening the outer door, walking out into the night. The jailer being unarmed, Brower got no weapon with which to defend his recovered liberty. As soon as he was out of the town he had the folly to enter a forest; this was many years ago, when that region was wilder than it is now.

The night was pretty dark, with neither moon nor stars visible, and as Brower had never dwelt thereabout, and knew nothing of the lay of the land, he was, naturally, not long in losing himself. He could not have said if he were getting farther away from the town or going back to it - a most important matter to Orrin Brower. He knew that in either case a posse of citizens with a pack of bloodhounds would soon be on his track and his chance of escape was very slender; but he did not wish to assist in his own pursuit. Even an added hour of freedom was worth having.

Suddenly he emerged from the forest into an old road, and there before him saw, indistinctly, the figure of a man, motionless in the gloom. It was too late to retreat: the fugitive felt that at the first movement back toward the wood he would be, as he afterward explained, “filled with buckshot.” So the two stood there like trees, Brower nearly suffocated by the activity of his own heart; the other - the emotions of the other are not recorded.

A moment later - it may have been an hour - the moon sailed into a patch of unclouded sky and the hunted man saw that visible embodiment of Law lift an arm and point significantly toward and beyond him. He understood. Turning his back to his captor, he walked submissively away in the direction indicated, looking to neither the right nor the left; hardly daring to breathe, his head and back actually aching with a prophecy of buckshot.

Brower was as courageous a criminal as ever lived to be hanged; that was shown by the conditions of awful personal peril in which he had coolly killed his brother-in-law. It is needless to relate them here; they came out at his trial, and the revelation of his calmness in confronting them came near to saving his neck. But what would you have? - when a brave man is beaten, he submits.

So they pursued their journey jailward along the old road through the woods. Only once did Brower venture a turn of the head: just once, when he was in deep shadow and he knew that the other was in moonlight, he looked backward. His captor was Burton Duff, the jailer, as white as death and bearing upon his brow the livid mark of the iron bar. Orrin Brower had no further curiosity.

Eventually they entered the town, which was all alight, but deserted; only the women and children remained, and they were off the streets. Straight toward the jail the criminal held his way. Straight up to the main entrance he walked, laid his hand upon the knob of the heavy iron door, pushed it open without command, entered and found himself in the presence of a half-dozen armed men. Then he turned. Nobody else entered.

On a table in the corridor lay the dead body of Burton Duff.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ARREST (Fr. arrester, arreter, to stop or stay), the restraint of a man's person, for the purpose of compelling him to be obedient to the law. It is defined to be the execution of the command of some court of record or officer of justice.

Arrests in England are either in civil or in criminal cases.

I. In Civil Cases. - The arrest must be by virtue of a precept or order out of some court, and must be effected by corporal seizing or touching the defendant's body, or as directed by the writ, capias et attachias, take and catch hold of. And if the defendant make his escape it is a rescous, or rescue, and attachment may be had against him, and the bailiff may then justify the breaking open of the house in which he is, to carry him away. Arrests on mesne process (see Process), before judgment obtained, were abolished by the Debtors Act 1869, s. 6; an exception, however, is made in cases in which the plaintiff proves, at any time before final judgment, by evidence on oath to the satisfaction of a judge of one of the superior courts, that he has a good cause of action to the amount of £50, that the defendant is about to quit the country, and that his absence will materially prejudice the plaintiff in prosecuting his action. In such cases an order for arrest may be obtained till security to the amount of the claim be found.

Formerly a judgment creditor might arrest his debtor under a writ of capias ad satisfaciendum, but since 1869 imprisonment for debt has been abolished in England, except in certain cases, and in these the period of detention must not exceed one year.

The following persons are privileged from arrest, viz., 1st, members of the royal family and the ordinary servants of the king or queen regnant, chaplains, lords of the bedchamber, &c. This privilege does not extend to servants of a consort queen or dowager. 2nd, peers of the realm, peeresses by birth, creation or marriage, Scottish and Irish peers and peeresses. 3rd, members of the House of Commons during the session of parliament, and for a convenient time (forty days) before and after it. Members of Convocation appear to have the same privilege. 4th, foreign ambassadors and their "domestics and domestic servants." Temporary privilege from arrest in civil process is enjoyed by barristers travelling on circuit, by parties, witnesses or attorneys connected with a cause, and by clergymen whilst performing divine service.

The arrest of any privileged person is irregular ab initio, and the party may be discharged on motion. The only exception is as to indictable crimes, such as treason, felony and breach of the peace.

There are no longer any places where persons are privileged from arrest, such as the Mint, Savoy, Whitefriars, &c., on the ground of their being ancient palaces.

Except in cases of treason, felony or breach of the peace, an arrest cannot be made on a Sunday, and if made it is void (Sunday Observance Act 1677); but it may be made in the night as well as in the day.

II. In Criminal Cases

All persons whatsoever are, without distinction, equally liable to this arrest, and any man may arrest without warrant or precept, and outer doors may be broken open for that purpose. The arrest may be made,-1st, by warrant; 2nd, by an officer without warrant; 3rd, by a private person without warrant; or, 4th, by a hue and cry.

1. Warrants are ordinarily granted by justices of the peace on information or complaint in writing and upon oath, and they must be indorsed when it is intended they should be executed in another county by a magistrate of that county (see Indictable Offences Act 1848). A warrant issued by a metropolitan police magistrate can be executed anywhere by a metropolitan police officer. Warrants are also granted in cases of treason or other offence affecting the government by the privy council, or one of the secretaries of state, and also by the chief or other justice of the court of king's bench (bench-warrant) in cases of felony, misdemeanour or indictment found, or criminal information granted in that court. Every warrant ought to specify the offence charged, the authority under which the arrest is to be made, the person who is to execute it and the person who is to be arrested.

A warrant remains in force till executed or discharged by order of a court. An officer may break open doors in order to execute a warrant in cases of treason, felony or indictable offences, provided that, on demand, admittance cannot otherwise be obtained. (See Warrant.) 2. The officers who may arrest without warrant are, - justices of the peace, for felony or breach of the peace committed in their presence; the sheriff and the coroner in their county, for felony; constables, for treason, felony or breach of the peace committed in their view, - and within the metropolitan police district they have even larger powers (Metropolitan Police Acts 1829-1895).

3. A private person is bound to arrest for a felony committed in his presence, under penalty of fine and imprisonment. By the Prevention of Offences Act 1851, a private person is allowed to arrest any one whom he finds committing an indictable offence by night, and under the Malicious Damage Act 1861, any person committing an offence against that act may be arrested without warrant by the owner of the property damaged, or his servants, or persons authorized by him. So, too, by the Coinage Offences Act 1861, s. 31, any person may arrest any one whom he shall find committing any offence relating to the coin, or other offence against that act.

A person arrested without warrant must not be detained in private custody but must be taken with all convenient speed to a police station or justice and there charged (Summary Jurisdiction Act 1879).

4. The arrest by hue and cry is where officers and private persons are concerned in pursuing felons, or such as have dangerously wounded others. By the Fugitive Offenders Act 1881, provision was made for the arrest in the United Kingdom of persons committing treason, and felony in any of the British colonies and vice versa; as to the arrest of fugitives in foreign countries see Extradition.

The remedy for a wrongful arrest is by an action for false imprisonment.

In Scotland the law of arrest in criminal procedure has a general constitutional analogy with that of England, though the practice differs with the varying character of the judicatories. Colloquially the word arrest is used in compulsory procedure for the recovery of debt; but the technical term applicable in that department is caption, and the law on the subject is generically different from that of England. There never was a practice in Scottish law corresponding with the English arrest in mesne process; but by old custom a warrant for caption could be obtained where a creditor made oath that he had reason to believe his debtor meditated flight from the country, and the writ so issued is called a warrant against a person in meditatione fugae. Imprisonment of old followed on ecclesiastical cursing, and by fiction of law in later times it was not the creditor's remedy, but the punishment of a refractory person denounced rebel for disobedience to the injunctions of the law requiring fulfilment of his obligation. The system was reformed and stripped of its cumbrous fictions by an act of the year 1837. Although the proceedings against the person could only follow on completed process, yet, by a peculiarity of the Scottish law, documents executed with certain formalities, and by special statute bills and promissory notes, can be registered in the records of a court for execution against the person as if they were judgments of the court.

The general principles as to the law of arrest in most European countries correspond more or less exactly to those prevailing in England.

An arrest of a ship, which is the method of enforcing the admiralty process in rem, founded either on a maritime lien or on a claim against the ship, is dealt with under Admiralty Jurisdiction.

See also article Attachment.

Arrest of Judgment is the assigning just reason why judgment should not pass, notwithstanding verdict given, either in civil or in criminal cases, and from intrinsic causes arising on the face of the record.

==United States== The law of arrest assimilates to that existing in England. Actual manual touching is not necessary (Pike v. Hanson, 9 N.H. 491; Hill v. Taylor, 50 Mich. 549); words of arrest by the officer, not protested against and no resistance offered, are sufficient (Emery v. Chesley, 18 N.H. 198; Goodell v. Tower, 1904, 58 Am. Rep. 790). Words of arrest, staying over night at prisoner's house, going with him before the magistrate next day constitute arrest (Courtery v. Dozier, 20 Ga. 369). Restraining a person in his own house is arrest.

In civil cases in most of the states arrest for debt is abolished, except in cases of fraud or wilful injury to persons or property by constitutional provision or by statute. One arrested under process of a federal court cannot be arrested under that of a state court for the same cause. There is no provision in the United States constitution as to imprisonment for debt, but congress has enacted (in Rev. Stat., s. 990) that all the provisions of the law of any state applicable to such imprisonment shall apply to the process of federal courts in that state. A woman can be arrested in New York for wilful injury to person, character or property, and in certain other cases (Code, s. J53). The president, federal officials, governors of states, members of congress and of state legislatures (during the session), marines, soldiers and sailors on duty, voters while going to and from the polls, judges, court officials (1904, ioo N.W. 591), coroners and jurors while attending upon their public duties, lawyers, parties and witnesses while going to, attending or returning from court, and generally married women without separate property, are exempt from arrest.

In criminal cases a bench-warrant in New York may be served in any county without being backed by a magistrate (Code Crim. Proc., s. 304). In Nebraska one found violating the law may be arrested and detained until a legal warrant can be issued (Crim. Code, s. 283). A bail may lawfully recapture his principal (1905) 121 Georgia Rep. 594. Foreign ambassadors and ministers and their servants are exempt from arrest. Exemption from arrest is a privilege, not of the court, as in England, but of the person, and can be waived (Petrie v. Fitzgerald, 1 Daly 401).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to arrest article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



A suspect being arrested, as in most countries handcuffed with the arms on the back



From Old French arester (to stay, stop), from Vulgar Latin *arrestare, from Latin ad- (to) + restare (to stop, remain behind, stay back), from re- (back) + stare (to stand), from PIE base *sta- (to stand) (see Latin stet).




arrest (plural arrests)

  1. A check, stop, an act or instance of arresting something
  2. The condition of being stopped, standstill.
  3. (law) The act of arresting a criminal, suspect etc.
  4. A confinement, detention, as after an arrest
  5. A device to physically arrest motion

Derived terms


to be checked again, by meaning


to arrest

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to arrest (third-person singular simple present arrests, present participle arresting, simple past and past participle arrested)

  1. To stop
  2. To seize
    • 1919: P. G. Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves, page ?
      There is something about this picture—something bold and vigorous, which arrests the attention. I feel sure it would be highly popular.
    • 1997: Chris Horrocks, Introducing Foucault, page 69 (Totem Books, Icon Books; ISBN 1840460865)
      I’m using mathesis — a universal science of measurement and order
      And there is also taxinomia a principle of classification and ordered tabulation.
      Knowledge replaced universal resemblance with finite differences. History was arrested and turned into tables …
      Western reason had entered the age of judgement.
  3. To take into legal custody

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.





arrest (plural arresten, diminutive arrestje, diminutive plural arrestjes)

  1. detention, confinement, especially after being arrested

Derived terms

Simple English

An arrest is a procedure by which a person who is thought to have broken the law is taken away into jail so that they can be placed on trial. Arrests are normally performed by the police.

A special type of arrest is a house arrest, where someone is made to stay in their home.

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