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What is an arrest, versus just being detained?

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  • What is an arrest, versus just being detained?

    When I took security academy (yes, it's quite insignificant compared to police academy ), I was told that an arrest was when one deprives another of thier liberty and/or freedom of movement by words and/or by deeds.

    Once an arrest is made, the Miranda law kicks in from what I heard.

    Still, there have been more than a few episodes of the long running TV show "Cops" showing people being "detained" in handcuffs.
    Maybe some of you can help to clear the air on this one.
    Thanks.
    Bedtime at sunrise

  • #2
    Someone is under investigative detention to determine if they should be arrested for a certain offense. If you are arrested you are obviously being charged with an offense and taking a ride to jail. Some courts however disagreee as to what situations are a detention vs an arrest.

    There is no Miranda "law". Once a person is under arrest and the police want to question them about that specific crime for which they were arrested that person must be read their Miranda warnings.

    I've had perps think that since I did not read them their "rights" it invalidated the arrest which is not true. I didn't need to read them Miranda b/c I didn't need to question them regarding their current charges.
    Perseverate In Pugna

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 3rd_shift View Post
      When I took security academy (yes, it's quite insignificant compared to police academy ), I was told that an arrest was when one deprives another of thier liberty and/or freedom of movement by words and/or by deeds.

      Once an arrest is made, the Miranda law kicks in from what I heard.

      Still, there have been more than a few episodes of the long running TV show "Cops" showing people being "detained" in handcuffs.
      Maybe some of you can help to clear the air on this one.
      Thanks.
      As far as TN is concerned (and most states), if we have reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime, have committed a crime, or about to commit a crime, we can stop and investigate for a reasonable amount of time. At that time, you are not necessarily under arrest, but you are not free to leave either (some may call it an investigative detention). You may or may not be placed in handcuffs. If we feel you are a threat to our safety (or others), or you are a flight risk, then we will probably handcuff you. Whether you are cuffed or not, if you should try to leave before we have finished our investigation, then we arrest for TCA 39-16-602, "resist stop, frisk, arrest, or search." It is the same offense for an "obstructing justice" charge.

      Miranda only applies when we have arrested someone and decide to ask questions that may illicit an incriminating response. I have rarely ever read Miranda. I develop enough PC to arrest and take the arrestee to jail. If they want to fight the charge, then we will do it in court.
      I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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      • #4
        If you are a security person, Miranda doesn't apply to you anyway.

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        • #5
          95% of my Crim Pro class in law school did not know that arrest does not equal miranda.....took a couple of classes to get it straight for them.

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          • #6
            I have fellow officers go Miranda Crazy.....I keep telling them: Without BOTH elements, ARREST & INTERROGATION (politically correct term INTERVIEWING) there is no NEED for MIRANDA WARNING. Some guys think their arrest will be thrown out without it. Been in court and defended my actions with this basic principle hundreds of times......lawyers don't want us to know about the REAL way to use it.

            I can question a skell, and get a confession.....without Miranda
            I can arrest and he can give me an unsolicited confession, and it also is valid without Miranda.

            Playing the way the rules dictate.

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            • #7
              you can be detained for reasonable suspiscion that a crime has been or is about to be committed. Based on the circumstances that detention can just be standing there, sitting on the curb, handcuffed/no handcuffs, sitting in a patrol car, etc. You can be questioned without miranda during this detention. Once a person has been significantly moved they are considered arrested so its not like in the movies where you are "taken downtown" for questioning without an arrest. Once an arrest has been made a miranda admonishment/warning/etc must be given only before any questioning regarding the crime is asked. General informational questions (name,address,DOB,emergency contact info, etc) may be asked without miranda.

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              • #8
                You can be detained/ handcuffed and NOT be under arrest.

                On the tv show cops, the officer is usually heard reading the person his rights. BUT you only have to mirandize them IF you are going to interrogate them.
                This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

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                • #9
                  And even if you want to interrogate the suspect, no need to warn until the situation is under control and your safety is assured........

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                  • #10
                    1. you may detain anyone to investigate their potential involvement in a crime which has or is occurring.
                    2. you may or may not handcuff (officer discretion).
                    3. detention plus 'significant movement' is an arrest (unless the subject volunteers to be moved to a location, station, curbside)
                    4. statements given under detention are not subject to Miranda.
                    5. there is always Behelier
                    6. once an arrest is made, no direct questioning of the specific incident until Miranda given.
                    7. 'expressed' vs. 'implied' (some states/counties don't take implied)
                    8. take your time, don't rush to were you have to mirandize

                    good luck,

                    scrubb
                    “You sleep safe in your beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do you harm.”

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                    • #11
                      Lots of guys are too quick to read Miranda. Detectives will often thank you later if you scoop up the perp and deliver him to CID w/o having Mirandized him.
                      Perseverate In Pugna

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                      • #12
                        There are two things required before Miranda comes into play. 1) you question a person in regards to a crime AND 2) they are unable to leave. I can question a person in regards to a crime but as long as I make them aware they are free to leave regardless of what they tell me, I do not have to Mirandize them.
                        A Veteran is someone who at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount up to, and including their life. That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 3rd_shift View Post
                          When I took security academy (yes, it's quite insignificant compared to police academy ), I was told that an arrest was when one deprives another of thier liberty and/or freedom of movement by words and/or by deeds.

                          Once an arrest is made, the Miranda law kicks in from what I heard.

                          Still, there have been more than a few episodes of the long running TV show "Cops" showing people being "detained" in handcuffs.
                          Maybe some of you can help to clear the air on this one.
                          Thanks.

                          Using an example to clear the air, lets say a call goes out for a robbery that just occurred at the local 7-11. Clerk says the suspect is a white male, blue t-shirt, with blue jean shorts. The suspect is 5'10 and weighs about 180lbs. and is wearing a blue striped hat. The clerk says the subject left in a light colored sedan.

                          You are responding to the call and see a silver 4 door car. The passenger is a white male, 5'9 and roughly 170 lbs. You can see that he has on a dark colored t-shirt and is wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat with blue and silver stripes.

                          The guy you see fits the description enough for you to find out what is going on. You stop the guy....and detain him for further investigation. He is not under arrest but he is not free to leave. You have detained him. Then the clerk comes up for an identification. The clerk says the subject you have is the robber. You have just gone from detained to an arrest. If the clerk says that is not the guy, you have just gone from detained to "have a nice day".

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                          • #14
                            Miranda vs. Arizona

                            Miranda applies in a POLICE CUSTODIAL INTERROGATION. If a person is not free to leave, whether under arrest or not and you wish to ask questions pertaining to a crime, Miranda applies.

                            In the United States, the Miranda warning is a warning given by police to criminal suspects in police custody, or in a custodial situation, before they are asked questions relating to the commission of a crime. A custodial situation is where the suspect's freedom of movement is restrained although he is not under arrest.
                            "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

                            "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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                            • #15
                              For Police or Sworn person's with arrest authority an arrest is when due to facts known by the officer the officer has Probable Cause that a crime has been commited and an arrest can be made. Detention falls under the inbetween period where an officer has "Resonable Suspicion" to believe a crime has been commited and still has to formulate Probable Cause for arrest. It's like a stepping chart. The actual physical detention though wheter it's with handcuffs or not letting a person leave or is not free to go does not have to rise to the level of PC in order to detain but has to merely have reasonable suspicion building towards PC. If neither exist then detention should not be conducted without consent. As far as Miranda that could be another forum thread altogether. Bottomline is Miranda applies if they are in custody and you intend on questioning them about the crime. The kicker is the definition of "custody" most judges see as what the perp felt versus what the officer knew as to what defines it. That said, Miranda is not needed if you do not intend on questioning the subject.
                              It's discussions like this that totally support my comment in other threads that we are truely professionals.
                              Last edited by Nightshift va; 09-04-2007, 08:48 AM. Reason: content
                              "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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