Despite many people mistakenly interchanging the two, being arrested and being detained are quite different in the eyes of the law. The primary difference between being arrested and detained depends on the nature of your alleged crime. When you are arrested, you are taken into custody and cannot leave the premises until your time has been served or you have been bailed out. During an arrest, you will possibly be put into handcuffs and notified an arrest is taking place. You must then wait to be given instruction and should consult with a criminal defense attorney as immediately as possible.
Detainment is far less restrictive and takes much less time to resolve. You may be detained by law enforcement if they have reason to suspect you were involved in a crime and want to pursue questioning. Throughout this process, the police officer may place you under arrest if he or she can develop proper cause. However, until this happens, you are not under arrest despite being prohibited from leaving until it can be determined you are no longer needed for questioning.
When Does a Detainment Turn into Arrest?
A detainment can lead to a de facto arrest if the process is prolonged more than necessary. Remember, you have the right to ask whether you are under arrest if you are unsure. If the answer is no, you can then ask if you are permitted to leave or required to stay. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your situation, you must not fail to request legal representation.
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With over 50 years of experience in the criminal justice system, our team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP has the tenacity and drive you’ve been looking for. We are dedicated to clearing your name, protecting your reputation, and delivering you the results you deserve.
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