An arrest is the action of police or other authority, or even in some circumstances a private civilian, to apprehend and take under guard a person who is suspected of committing a crime. The term is Frankish in origin and is related to the French word Arrêt, meaning "stop". In many legal systems, an arrest requires mere verbal information to suspects that they are under arrest on suspicion of a given crime; the laying of hands or restraints upon the person of the suspect is usually not required to effect an official and valid arrest.
Contrary to popular belief, reading of the Miranda warning or similar information to an arrestee is not required upon arrest. It is required only prior to questioning by a detaining authority, and then again only in the US, most Commonwealth and other common law jurisdictions, and other countries where the right to legal counsel, the right to silence, and the right against self-incrimination have been clearly established.
If the crime is serious, the usual procedure followed by police is to take suspects to a police station or a jail where they will be incarcerated pending a judicial bail determination or arraignment hearing. In other instances, the police will issue a notice to appear specifying where a misdemeanor or infraction suspect is to appear for his arraignment.
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 .
See also: Arrest warrant; Citizen's arrest
Arrest is also the name of a commune of the Somme département in France.
Last updated: 08-07-2005 21:44:19