Arrest Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Arrest, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Arrest?

(v) Arrest is the action by which a person is stopped from his normal activities by virtue of a legal authority or sanction, either by detaining him or by stopping his external accesses. By an arrest, a person is deprived of his liberty. So the law contain many provisions like requirement of a warrant, adherence of Miranda rights, arraignment within the statutory limit etc.

History and Meaning of Arrest

Arrest is an action taken by law enforcement officials to apprehend a person and take them into custody. The word 'arrest' is derived from the Old French word 'arester', which means 'to stop, stay'. The arrest power has been exercised throughout history, and the legal rules related to arrest have evolved over time. In modern times, an arrest must conform to constitutional requirements, with the police required to have probable cause for the arrest.

Examples of Arrest

  1. The police officer arrested the suspect for driving under the influence of alcohol.
  2. The FBI made several arrests in connection with the bank robbery.
  3. The protesters were arrested for blocking traffic in the downtown area.

Legal Terms Similar to Arrest

  1. Detention: Detention is a temporary holding of a person by law enforcement, which may or may not involve an arrest.
  2. Seizure: Seizure is the taking of property or person by the government or law enforcement officials.
  3. Custody: Custody refers to the condition of being held by law enforcement or correctional authorities, and can be either pre-trial or post-conviction.