Breaking the law can land a person in jail. The first step begins with an arrest. The U.S. Constitution carefully dictates when and how a person can be detained. The Fourth Amendment allows law officers to make an arrest without a warrant as long as they have reason to believe a law has, is being or about to be broken.
Our forefathers ratified the Fourth Amendment in 1791, stipulating the terms under which law officers could detain a suspect for criminal activity. The Fifth Amendment protects a citizen from incriminating himself. Officers recite Miranda warnings, or rights, to a suspect once they make the arrest, but if the suspect ignores his Miranda rights and voluntary confesses or continues to talk, his words can be used against him in court. Officers say a suspect often voluntarily waives his rights, trying to explain his predicament.
Constitutional attorney David C. Grossack writes that the freedom to make a citizen's arrest is guaranteed by the Ninth Amendment, which states that individuals have a natural right to self-preservation and the defense of others. Grossack says historically citizen's arrests were necessary to uphold the peace. Over time, common law has made a citizen's arrest legal in every U.S. state with or without specific codes.
In legal terms, house arrest is an alternative to jail time as either a pre-trial order or sentencing. It can require electronic monitoring devices. While under house arrest, a person cannot leave her home except at certain times usually associated with work.
A 23-year-old nurse from Kansas sued Walmart for false arrest after she was detained outside the store and accused of shoplifting a coat. Walmart accused the nurse of taking a coat that was not included on the store receipt. She contended that the store planted the evidence in her bag and wanted to perform a strip search. A judge threw out the charges and the nurse was awarded more than $128,000. In simple terms, a false arrest is detaining a person against their will without legal cause.