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An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her 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
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."
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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.
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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 he is entitled to be released on bail if the offence fits the criteria for being bailable.
When there exists probable cause to believe that a person has committed a minor or serious crime, the police typically handcuff an arrested person, who will be held in a police station or jail pending a judicial bail determination or an arraignment.
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.
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:
otherwise, the arrest is unlawful. An arrest is still lawful even if the subject escapes custody before the fact he/she is not under arrest and the grounds can be explained to him.
A justice of the peace can issue warrants to arrest suspects and witnesses.
There are four subcategories of arrest without warrant:
In the United Kingdom a person must be told that he is 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. 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 his Miranda Rights. Thus if one is interrogated over the phone, the Miranda rights do not apply.
"You have the right to remain silent when questioned. Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law. (Modern readings have can and will in place of may) You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish. If you decide to answer any questions now, without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?"
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 his 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 he or she chooses 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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