Arrest Types

By Jill Jensen

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.

Police Arrest

Miranda warnings protect the suspect only if he remains silent until a lawyer is present.

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.

Citizen's arrest

Laws governing citizen's arrests vary from state to state.

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.

House arrest

Home takes the place of jail when under house arrest

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.

False Arrest

A false arrest is made without sufficient probable cause.

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.

About the Author

Jill Jensen has more than 25 years broadcast journalism experience with awards for spot news and special series from the Mo. Broadcaster's Association, an Edward R. Murrow for best newscast, and three shared regional Emmy's in 2010 for education, weather and continuing news. Jensen has a Master of Arts in communication studies from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.