Instant Court Case Lookup

The following is for information purposes only


A functional society is built on rules, regulations, and laws. The law protects people from many different kinds of injustices. Breaking the law violates people's rights, such as their rights to property or life.

That is why breaking the law is considered a criminal offense and can result in an arrest.

What Is an Arrest?

An arrest is the physical act of taking a person into custody, also known as legal protection or control. Police officers receive in-depth training on the amount of force appropriate for each circumstance.

There are a few steps to consider when making an arrest, these include:

  • Having a reason to arrest.
  • Immobilizing the suspect.
  • Gaining control of the suspect.
  • Handcuffing the suspect.
  • Searching the suspect for weapons or evidence.
  • Transporting the suspect.
  • Giving Miranda warnings.

Generally speaking, an arrest happens with a warrant from the court. If a police officer has probable cause, they can arrest someone without one.

The purpose of an arrest is to apprehend the alleged suspect, charge them with a specific crime, and bring the suspect to court. The court can then decide if the case must go to trial or not.

What Happens After an Arrest?

After an arrest, there are specific procedures and protocols to ensure efficiency in the justice system. It is important to note that people who are accused of crimes have certain rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to be represented by an attorney.

Here's what happens after an arrest:

  • After an arrest, the suspect is moved to the city or county jail. They are then booked, processed, fingerprinted, photographed, and interrogated.
  • The suspect appears before a judge where the judge will read the charges filed against the defendant. The defendant then pleads "guilty" or "not guilty" to those charges.
  • The court will decide the defendant's custody status and whether it's possible to release the defendant out on bail.
  • In some cases, the appointment of a public defender can occur if the defendant cannot afford a private attorney.
  • After the prosecutor and the defense present pre-trial motions; this would help resolve final legal issues, and establish evidence and testimonies deemed acceptable at trial.
  • Upon a guilty verdict at their trial, defendants receive punishment as per the law. The penalty and sentence will depend on the crime.
  • Someone convicted of a crime may ask that a higher court review their case. If the appeals court finds an error in the process or sentencing, they may then reverse the conviction or retry the case. T hat process is called an appeal.

What Are the Different Types of Arrests?

  1. Warrant Arrest - A police officer must first request a warrant from a judge based on probable cause or evidence presented. By giving probable cause, the officer believes that it's enough to make an arrest. A signed warrant grants the police the right to search for evidence and arrest suspects.
  2. Misdemeanor Arrest - This type of arrest happens when the police witness a minor illegal activity. Examples include trespassing, vandalism, or assault.
  3. Felony Arrest - Examples include burglary, robbery, arson, kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder. The seriousness of these crimes requires that the suspects have the help of a criminal defense attorney. The penalties of committing felony crimes are more severe than misdemeanors. They include massive fines and lengthy incarcerations.
  4. Citizen's Arrest - This is otherwise known as a private person's arrest. This means that anyone can arrest another person if they witness them doing something illegal. One must be careful when making a citizen's arrest because detaining someone without probable cause is illegal, and may result in criminal charges or a civil lawsuit.
  5. Juvenile Arrest - If someone is underage, they may face an arrest for either a felony or misdemeanor offense. These arrests often happen under a juvenile police unit, where they are in the care of child welfare professionals. Juveniles often commit crimes related to drinking, curfew violations, running away, and truancy.
  6. A false arrest - occurs when someone is in custody without probable cause, evidence, or an order by the court. Someone unlawfully arrested can demand that the officer face repercussions for their false arrest.

What Are the Different Reasons for an Arrest?

An arrest happens for many different reasons. These include:

  • Crimes against a person include domestic abuse, assault and battery, child abuse, kidnapping, rape, and statutory rape. These types of crimes often carry the steepest penalties.
  • Crimes against property. Examples include theft, burglary, larceny, arson, robbery, auto theft, and shoplifting.
  • Inchoate Crimes refer to planned crimes that are incomplete, including aiding and abetting, attempt, and conspiracy. These crimes attract punishment to the same degree as the underlying crime.
  • Statutory crimes are typical examples of alcohol-related crimes, drug crimes, traffic offenses, and white-collar crimes.
  • Financial and other crimes include fraud, blackmail, embezzlement, money laundering, tax evasion, and cybercrime.

Are Arrests Kept On Record?

When someone gets arrested by the police, the first record created is that the arrest took place. This forms part of a police database known as a Record of Arrests and Prosecutions (RAP) sheet.

What Are the Consequences of Having a Criminal Record?

Having a criminal record can affect someone's life in many ways and prevent them from obtaining education, employment, housing, and public assistance. Almost 90% of employers conduct criminal background checks before hiring.

Even without a conviction, an arrest record decreases employment prospects. The collateral damage of having a criminal record can affect future generations. Socio-economic barriers associated with a parent's criminal record can harm a child's future.

Can a Criminal Record Be Expunged?

After a certain amount of time has passed following a conviction, usually no less than 10 years, and if the person has not had any additional brushes with the law, they may have their criminal records removed or sealed.

This process, called an expungement , removes arrests and convictions on a person's record as if it never happened. While sealing a criminal record removes it from public view, one can still gain access to a sealed record through a court order.

Public laws protect citizens and ensure our rights. These laws also safeguard us against abuses by other people, organizations, and the government itself.

There are specific protocols and procedures for an arrest to be entirely successful. The act of an arrest is just a small part of an efficient criminal justice system, which helps maintain law and order in any well-functioning society.