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Criminal Justice

As per the former, law enforcement authorities may stop a person in the street, for example, and clarify that he/she is needed to answer a few question relating to a certain ongoing ///investigation. This type of arrest, as Williamson (1980), is often confusing as it blurs the distinction between arrest and investigatory stop. In the former, a person is similarly stopped for the purposes of answering a few questions which criminal justice authorities believe pertinent to an ongoing investigation. Indeed, as non-formal arrests are not preceded by the reading of a suspect's Miranda Rights and often do not entail the use of force or restraints (handcuffs), the determination of whether an arrest has occurred has sometimes proven rather confusing as far as the arrestee him/herself is concerned (Williamson, 1980). Commenting upon the aforementioned, Williamson (1980) mentions that in cases where defendants have argued the absence of knowledge regarding whether or not they were under arrest, courts have invariably held that determination of status should proceed from a reasonable analysis of freedom to leave. In other words, if one knows that s/he is free to leave than no arrest has occurred but if not, an arrest has occurred.
In direct comparison to non-forma...
s invariably preceding by a reading of the suspect's Miranda Rights, and may entail the use of force, or threat thereof (guns drawn by officers) and the use of restraints (handcuffs). Importantly, pending the occurrence of a formal arrest, the authorities clarify the charges against the arrestee and explain why s/he is being interrogated and for what purposes (Campbell, 1986). In other words, within the context of a formal arrest, the arrestee is clearly informed of his/her status, is told the reasons for his/her arrest and is informed of his/her rights.
The arrest of suspects is usually coupled with their being held in detainment or their being taken into custody by law enforcement authorities. Black's Law Dictionary (Garner, 2004, p. 459) correlates between the concept of custody and that of detention: "detention is the act or fact of holding a person in custody." Despite the said correlation, the two concepts are not interchangeably and should be independently defined.
The act of taking a suspect into custody is preceded by the occurrence of a formal arrest. Smart (2006) explains that a formal arrest is, in essence, a legal authorization to take a suspect into custody so that s/he may formally answer charges levelled against him/her by a court, tribunal or other criminal justice authorities and bodies. The implication here is that custody is the legal authorization to restrain a person's freedom prior to his/her being tried or sentenced before a court of law (Smart, 2006).
In many ways the concept of the detainment of suspects is related to that of custody. As Smart (2006) explains, both occur within a pre-trial context and are intended to restrain the freedom of criminal suspects for the purposes of both preventing their immediate engagement in further ...Show more


Criminal law distinguishes between different types of arrest and, depending on the type of arrest which has been executed, awards criminal justice authorities the right to detain suspects for questioning or, possibly, to hold them in custody. A fuller explanation of thiszxz necessitates the definition of, and the clarification of the differences between, all of arrest, formal arrest, detainment and custody.
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Criminal Justice Essay essay example
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