What to do when you are arrested?

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What to do when you are arrested?

When a person does anything which is against the law, he/she may get arrested. In general sense, “arrest” means fear or restraint or deprivation of one’s personal liberty. Chapter V, Section 41-60 of criminal procedure code, 1973 deals with Arrest of a person. The purpose of arresting an alleged offender is to ensure that he does not tamper the evidence and is present at trial for which he has been charged.
                    
Now, before we discuss what you need to do after you get arrested, let’s discuss the procedure of arrest. 

 
Who can make an arrest as per the law?

In India, arrest can be made by all law enforcement officers- such as police officers, police constable, magistrate etc. whether they are on or off duty in most cases as per the legal provisions permitting such an arrest.

Related Post: How to get Bail in India 


Can anyone besides police make an arrest?

Any private individual can arrest a proclaimed offender and any person who commits a non-bailable and cognizable offence. Any person who sees a person committing a criminal offence and they have a good reason to believe that the person committed an offence can make an arrest. As soon as the arrest is made they are required to take him/her to a police officer or a judge who is required to take him/her into the custody.



What is the procedure of arrest?

An arrest can be made with or without a warrant. Once an arrest warrant is issued, arrest can be made anytime. There is no time limit to make an arrest. If the person to be arrested does not submit to the custody through words or action then the person making the arrest can touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested. If the person is trying to evade the arrest or resisting it then the person making the arrest can use all possible means to arrest the person. Resisting an arrest is also a crime and you can be charged for misdemeanor along with the crime for which you are charged.
 
As per Section- 75 of the CrPC arrest warrant should be in writing, signed by the presiding officer and should have the seal of the court. The warrant should categorically state the name and address of the accused and offence under which arrest is to be made. The warrant is considered illegal if any of this information is missing. 
 
In case if your name is not known then a “John Doe” warrant will be issued along with your description on it. When the police is carrying an arrest warrant, you must be allowed to see it. If the police is not carrying the warrant, you should be allowed to see it as soon as possible.
 
If someone’s name is mentioned in the FIR, the police must conduct a preliminary investigation before arresting such a person.  
 
In case, where the police is executing a arrest warrant issued by the magistrate, there is no need to handcuff the person to be arrested. He may be handcuffed if the order from the magistrate explicitly states so. Further, the person who is so arrested should not be subjected to physical violence or inconvenience unless it is required to prevent his escape.  
While arresting, the police officer must be wearing a clear, visible identification of his name. At the time of the arrest, a memo of arrest should be prepared and should be attested by at least one witness and should be countersigned by the person so arrested.

Can an arrest be made without an arrest warrant?

Police can also arrest without a warrant if the situation so demands as per Section 41 of CrPC. If the police believe that a fast action is needed to prevent a person from destroying or tampering evidence, escaping or endangering someone’s life or seriously damaging property then they can make arrest without a warrant.

Related Post: What is Cognizable and Non-cognizable offence


Rights of the arrested person

Whether you are an Indian citizen or a non-citizen, you have certain rights when you are arrested as mentioned under the Constitution of India.
 

  1. The person so arrested has the right to inform his/ her family member, friend or relative as given under Section- 50 of CrPC.
  2. The person so arrested cannot be detained for more than 24 hours without being presented before a magistrate. This is done to prevent unlawful and illegal arrests.
  3. The arrested person has the right to be medically examined.
  4. You have the right to remain silent- You are not required to speak or confess anything in front of the police. Anything you say can be taken against you and hence you have the right to not say anything in front of the police.
  5. You have a right to have a lawyer when you are questioned. In case you are not able to afford a lawyer, a lawyer will be appointed to you by the government.
  6. Right to be informed about the charges- As per Section- 50 of CrPc and Constitution of India, the person accused of an offence needs to be informed about the offence and whether it is a bailable or non-bailable offence. Bailable offences are those in which getting a bail is the right of the accused, whereas in case of non-bailable offences bail is granted as per the discretion of the court.
  7. If you are arrested for a serious crime, you must contact a lawyer as soon as possible because a  lawyer has a better understanding of what should be said before the police. The lawyer will also be able to assist you in getting bail.

Special rules while arresting a female- suspect

A female should only be arrested in presence of a lady constable and further no female can be arrested before sunrise and after sunset. There can be exceptions only when it is extremely urgent to arrest the person.

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