Detentions are shorter in duration and scope than arrest, and require a lower burden of proof.
Originally Posted by EasternPromises
If I have Reasonable Suspicion that a crime has or is about to occur, and reasonably believe that a person may have information about this, I can detain them for a short period of time to investigate the matter. As part of my investigation, I can conduct a pat down for weapons (if I reasonably believe that they may be present) and seek information to determine exactly what is, has, or will happen. The timeframe can vary a bit due to each set of circumstances, but 20 minutes or so has been ruled to be a reasonable timeframe for detaining someone.
If I have Probable Cause to believe a specific person has committed a crime, I can arrest that person. At that point, I can conduct a complete search of their person for weapons, evidence, and contraband, as well as their vehcile if they are or have been near it recently. I can remove them from the scene and hold them (in jail) for 24 hours or until I get a warrant issued for the charges.
If anyone resists an arrest or detention, I am authorized to use force to apprehend them (in addition, resisting an arrest or detention is a crime, so resisting immediately gives me probable cause to make an arrest).
Normally I don't have to use any "meaningful" physical force to restrain someone I am detaining or arresting. Most people cooperate on their own.
A person can usually tell (with me) because I'll tell them when they are under arrest. If a case arises when I handcuff someone who is merely detained, I will tell them, "You're not under arrest at this time; you are being detained while I investigate what's going on."
Hope that clarifies things-
Last edited by Citicop; 07-24-08 at 10:14 AM.
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