Olajumoke Oyaleke

Different Types of Arrests: 10 Types to Explore 

Arrest, Different Types of Arrests, Law Enforcement

What usually comes to the mind of many people when they hear that someone is arrested is that such a person is detained by law enforcement agencies.

However, many people don’t know what different types of arrests they are.

Are you even aware that there are different types of arrests? There are different types of arrests, which will all be explained in this article.

Generally, two major conditions must be met before an arrest is carried out and it is within one’s right as an individual to know why one is being arrested or what one is being arrested for.

It is true that, as individuals, we do not want to ever get arrested because of the situations that surround it. It is not a pleasant one at all; no one wants to ever be caught in such a messy situation.

As much as we do not wish for such things to happen to us, sometimes we find ourselves in situations beyond our control.

Knowing the different types of arrests that exist will guide one on what to do if one is ever caught in such a situation. This is why we will consider the different Types of Arrests in this article.

Different Types of Arrests

Utility_Inc, Pixabay

1. Arrest without warrant

One of the types of arrests that we have is an arrest without a warrant.

A warrant is a legal order given by a court to an enforcement officer to arrest someone. So when we talk of arrest without order, it means that the arrest takes place without the legal order of a court.

There are different situations and reasons why this may happen. One of the reasons why a police officer might arrest a person without a warrant is when the law enforcement officer strongly suspects a person of a criminal offense.

The suspicion has to be founded on convincing evidence and facts to justify that such an individual has been involved in a criminal act. This is, in fact, the most common type of arrest that usually takes place.

2. Arrests with a warrant

It’s not every arrest that can take place without a warrant. Arresting with a warrant is the way that an arrest should be carried out.

Arrests with warrants take place when a police officer gets legal permission from a judge before proceeding to arrest someone.

The warrant is evidence that the person is truly being summoned by the judge.

There are different types of arrests with a warrant, which include:

3. Arrest warrant

An arrest warrant is simply an official document issued to a police officer by a judge, permitting them to carry out an arrest.

Sometimes the different types of arrest documents contain the name of the person meant to be arrested and the crime that the person is accused of committing, after which the judge will append his or her signature to this document.

However, a person can only be arrested with an arrest warrant by the police if strong and convincing evidence is provided that the person was truly involved in a criminal act, not just some unjustified speculations or guesses.

One of the reasons why an arrest warrant is important is because it prevents people from being arrested unfairly or unlawfully, which is a right protected by the Fourth Amendment.

The arrest warrant also tells the person being arrested the actual offense they are being charged for. However, the law permits police to carry out an arrest without necessarily an arrest warrant.

According to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, an arrest warrant is defined as “a judicial process by which, in the name of the state, a defendant is brought before the court to answer a criminal charge made against him.”

Also, an arrest warrant, according to the Supreme Court of New York, “is a judicial order or command, in writing, in the name of the people, signed by an authorized judicial officer commanding the arrest of the defendant named for the crime charged therein.

4. Bench warrant

Considering what a bench warrant is from a technical standpoint, a bench warrant is an official legal document that a judge issues to a defendant who has been found guilty of the set guidelines and regulations of the court.

The bridge occurs when a defendant fails to make himself available in court when he is supposed to attend court for an appearance, trial,l or hearing.

When a bench warrant is issued by a judge as a result of failing to appear in court, it permits law enforcement agencies to carry out an arrest just like they do with an arrest warrant.

What this automatically means is that it grants the police the authority to locate and apprehend the defendant, after which they are brought before the court by the police for further legal proceedings to be carried out by the judge.

In summary, a bench warrant is a tool used by the court to compel the presence of a defendant in court so that the issue at hand can be amicably addressed and resolved with due process.

5. Witness warrant

A witness warrant grants a police officer the right to arrest a witness who has refused to show up in court to testify.

Even though a witness is supposed to appear before the court willingly to testify, However, in a case where a witness is needed and the witness refuses to appear before the court, the judge can issue an order for them to appear before the court to provide the needed evidence, hence the need for a witness warrant.

Utility_Inc, Pixabay

6. Surety warrant

Finally, one of the types of warrants is the surety warrant. A police officer may arrest someone if they have a surety warrant.

A surety warrant takes place in a situation where a person who initially promised to monitor you after your release from custody is no longer willing to continue to be responsible for you. If you fail to appear in court after this, the court will issue a warrant for you to be arrested.

7. Citizen’s Arrest

A citizen’s arrest is one of the types of arrest that we also have. Just as the name of the arrest can simply be put as a type of arrest carried out by a citizen or an ordinary member of society,

Yes, that means that an arrest can also be carried out by a private person.

However, some cases can warrant this; for instance, an ordinary member of society may detain someone when they witness that such a person is being involved in an unlawful or violent act.

In Texas, for example, the citizen’s arrest statute states that any person may arrest someone who is committing a felony or an offense against the public.

Likewise in California, their citizen’s arrest statute states that any person may arrest another:

For a public offense committed or attempted in their presence

When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in their presence

When a felony has been committed and he possesses a reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

8. Juvenile Arrests

One other type of arrest that exists among the types of arrest that we have is juvenile arrest.

This type of arrest is the kind that takes place when a law enforcement agency arrests someone who is yet to reach the certified age for adulthood, which is 18.

The kind of arrests that are done for people who find themselves below this age bracket are juvenile, so the arrest of such persons when they are involved in a criminal act or found bridging the law is known as juvenile arrest.

Putting it in a more technical form, a juvenile arrest is a process of apprehending a person who is a minor and will be punished through a juvenile justice system.

9. Indictable Arrests

Indictable arrests are another different types of arrests that we have.

This type of arrest exists because offenses have different gravitys and the higher the gravity of the offense, is what determines the kind of punishment meted out to the person according to the existing law of the state

Some crimes are, of course, considered very grave offenses, such that when this type of offense is carried out, the person involved may end up spending almost his entire life behind bars. Such a person may even face the death penalty.

For example, in Canada, crimes such as murder, manslaughter, or aggravated assault are considered indictable offenses that a person can be arrested for.

In essence, different types of arrests when these types of offenses are committed are what we refer to as indicatable arrests.

When being arrested for an indictable offense, you must turn yourself in and select the right criminal lawyer who will represent you and help you in court to defend against these serious charges.

10. Summary Arrests

The last on the list of the different types of arrests we shall be considering is the summary arrest.

A summary arrest is a type of arrest that usually takes place without a warrant. In this type of arrest, a person is usually put in detention temporarily for a short period because the offense for which the person is usually found guilty is usually a minor one that may only require that the person face a form of a financial penalty or be sentenced to be in jail for a maximum of 6 months.


When can a person be arrested?

A person can be arrested by a law enforcement officer before a crime is committed, when a crime is being committed, and after a crime has been committed.

Who can make an arrest?

Legally, an arrest can be made by law enforcement agencies, and they are not limited to police forces alone. Other enforcement agencies that can also make an arrest are:

  • The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
  • The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC)
  • and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)
  • The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)
  • The Nigerian Customs

 What should I do if I am arrested?

Here are the following things you need to do when you are arrested:

  • Do not try to physically confront an enforcement officer when arrested; try to be calm
  • Do not attempt to escape or run to avoid any form of suspicion.
  • Ask for the reason why you are being arrested or detained.
  • If a search is to be conducted at your residence, request an arrest warrant. It is unlawful to search without an arrest warrant.
  • Request the identity of the officer. You must know who is arresting you.
  • Try to remain quiet and ask to get a lawyer because anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • It is advisable that you only make or sign a statement in the presence of a lawyer.

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