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What must be present for an arrest to be legal?

Getting arrested isn’t anything pleasant, but it is critical that you pay attention to what happens when you are arrested. The actions of the police officers can sometimes clue you into things that aren’t legal. There are several important points that must be considered when you are interacting with police officers.

What is the difference between being questioned, detained and arrested?

Being questioned means just that. You are free to leave the officer at any point. If you have been detained, you can’t simply walk away from the officer. An example of this would be a traffic stop. If you have been arrested, you aren’t able to walk away at all. In this case, you will be taken to jail and booked in based on the charges filed against you.

When is an arrest legal?

In order for an arrest to be considered legal, it has to meet one of two conditions. One of these conditions is that there is an arrest warrant present at the time of the arrest. The second of these is that there is probable cause for the arrest. Probable cause can mean that there is evidence of a crime, that a law enforcement officer made observations that should lead to an arrest or several other factors. One factor that surprises people about probable cause is that it can occur because of circumstantial evidence.

When you discuss your case with your attorney, you will need to let them know if you have any concerns about the legality of your arrest. If there was anything amiss, this can be used in your defense.

Source: FindLaw, “When is an Arrest a Legal Arrest?,” accessed Feb. 18, 2016

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