How Do Arrests Work

An arrest occurs when a police officer apprehends a person suspected of committing a crime. The person under arrest is then taken into custody and they are no longer able to simply walk away. Usually, a person is arrested for being a suspect prior to being formally charged with that crime. Often, when a person is arrested they will also be formally charged. A person cannot go to court and be convicted of a crime without first being arrested and charged with it. Remember, police officers must follow set out rules when arresting a person.

When a person is being apprehended police will search that person. This is done to ensure that they are not carrying a weapon or do not have anything else on their person, like drugs or stolen items. Police may also search the property or car of the person being detained.

A person under arrest still maintains the right to not speak and to have access to an attorney at all times. Police officers must read a person their rights and grant them access to a lawyer.

guy in handcuffs

Once at the station, the police officers will officially take information like the suspects full name and date of birth. This is called being booked and the details of the person being arrested are then formally recorded. The arrested person will also have their fingerprints recorded and their photograph taken.

Then, the suspect may be formally charged with the crime they allegedly committed. The prosecutor must then decide if the apprehended person will be formally charged with committing a crime or not.

If the charges are successfully filed, then that person will need to appear in court. The charges against the alleged criminal will be read out to the courtroom and they have to state if they plead guilty or not guilty.

Depending on the nature of the crime, the person charged may be able to apply for bail. This means that person would pay a set amount of money to the court to get out of jail and ensure that they will go to all mandatory court dates. If bail is refused, that person will stay in police custody until the trial concludes!

Here is another neat article on arrests and how they work. I also wanted to share this video about arrests and excessive force.