The apprehension of a person suspected of criminal activities. Most arrests are made by police officers, although anybody may, under prescribed conditions, effect an arrest. In some cases the officer will have a warrant of arrest signed by a magistrate, which must be shown to the accused (though not necessarily at the time of arrest). However, a warrant is not required for an indictable offence and the Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005 effectively gives the police the power to arrest any person where they consider this to be necessary for any of a wide range of reasons (see arrestable offence). When an arrest is made, the accused must be told that he is being arrested and given the ground for his arrest. The arresting police officer has power to search the person he is arresting for any property that may be used in evidence against him. Anyone making or assisting in an arrest may use as much force as reasonable in the circumstances. Resisting lawful arrest may constitute the crime of assault or obstructing a police officer. A person who believes he has been wrongfully arrested may petition for habeas corpus and may sue the person who arrested him for false imprisonment. See also bail; caution; detention; remand.
From: arrest in A Dictionary of Law »