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PROVISIONS RELATED TO ARREST UNDER CRPC (Part1)

PROVISIONS RELATED TO ARREST UNDER CRPC (Part 1)

Introduction

An Arrest is an act of taking a person into custody as he/she may be suspected of a crime or an offence. It is done because a person is apprehended for doing something wrong. After arresting a person further procedures like interrogation and investigation is done. It is part of the Criminal Justice System. In an action of arrest, the person is physically detained by the concerned authority.

The term Arrest has been defined neither in the CrPC (The Code of Criminal Procedure,1973) nor IPC (Indian Penal Code,1860). The definition has not been provided even in any enactments dealing with Criminal Offences. The only indication of what an arrest constitutes can be made out of Section 46 of CrPC which deals with ‘How an arrest is made’. 

All you need to know about Preventive Arrest Laws in India - iPleadersIf broadly characterized arrest is of two types-

  1. Arrest made in pursuance with a warrant issued by the magistrate.
  2. Arrest made without any warrant but within the established legal provisions.

Another type of arrest is Private Arrest in which a person is arrested by another person. But it is allowed only in case a person commits a non-bailable offence in another person’s presence or is apprehended of committing a crime against a person or his property and when he is not given the correct address of his residence or it is unknown. But before arresting a person there should be sufficient apprehension and justifiable cause to arrest that particular person.

Section 41 says the police officer has to be satisfied that such arrest is necessary:

  1. To prevent such person from further committing such offence
  2. For purposes of investigation
  3. Prevent the person from causing evidence to disappear. 

If a person commits an offence which is non-arrestable then a warrant is necessary to be issued. The police cannot make such an arrest without a warrant. The warrant is issued by a Judge or a Magistrate on behalf of the state. An arrest warrant authorizes the arrest or detention of the person or capture or seizure of an individual’s property.  Section 41(1) of CrPC,1973 explains when a person can be arrested without any warrant. Section 41(2) of CrPC, 1973 states that subject to the condition in Section 42, a person cannot be arrested without a warrant and an order of the magistrate in case of non-cognizable offence and where a complaint is made. The procedures to be followed while arresting a person find its mention in Section 46 of the Code. Section 41A –  gives direction to the police officer to issue a notice to the person if he feels the person is not required to be arrested. This in effect means that contrary to popular perception, a police officer is not required to arrest a person if he does not think such arrest is not required for the purposes mentioned in Section 41 mentioned above. 

Section 41B – enjoins that while making an arrest the police officer shall: –

  1. a) bear an accurate, visible, and clear identification of name which will facilitate the identification.
  2. b) prepare a memo of arrest which shall be:
  3. Attested by one family member or member of the society.
  4. counter signed by the accused.
  5. This evidently is in terms of Article 20/21 which insulates a person from

arbitrary arrest. 

Section 41-C: When a memo is not attested by a family member, the person so arrested must be informed that he has a right to inform a family member. This once again protects a person from arbitrary arrest and prevents mysterious disappearances.

Section 41-D: The person arrested can meet an advocate of his choice during interrogation. This is once again in line with the constitutional right of a person to counsel, even if it is free.

Arrest on refusal to give name and residence

Section 42 of CrPC states the course of action in case of arrest on refusal to give name and residence. 

Section 42(1) says that when a person has committed a non-cognizable offence refuses to give his name or address or gives a false name and address on the demand of the officer, he may be arrested by such officer to ascertain his correct name or residence.

Section 42(2) says that the person so arrested may be released after ascertaining the true name or residence but only after executing a bond, with or without sureties, to appear before the magistrate if required. But if the person is not a resident of India then the bond should be secured by a security or securities resident of India.

Section 42(3) says that if the true name or address of the person is not found within twenty-four hours or if he fails to execute the bond or required sureties then he has to be presented before the magistrate falling within the jurisdiction.

Procedure of arrest by a private person

The procedure of arrest by a private person is expressly provided in Section 43 of the Criminal Procedural Code.

Section 43(1) states that a private person can arrest another person who commits a non-bailable offence or any proclaimed offender and without wasting any unnecessary time can be taken to a police officer and in the absence of the officer the accused has to be taken to the nearest police station.

Section 43(2) says that if the arrest of that person comes under Section 41, the police officer shall re-arrest him.

Section 43(3) provides that if there is sufficient reason to believe that he has committed a bailable offence and refuses to give his true name or address to the police officer, he shall be dealt with according to the provisions of Section 42. But he shall be released if there is no sufficient reason to believe that he has committed an offence.

Arrest by magistrate

Magistrate here includes both an executive or judicial Magistrate. According to Section 44(1) of CrPC when an offence is committed in the presence of a magistrate within his local jurisdiction, he has the power to arrest that person himself or order any person for arrest and subject to the conditions relating to bail, commit the accused to custody.

Section 44(2) in addition to clause 1 also provides that the Magistrate can also arrest or direct any person in his presence, within his local jurisdiction of whom he is competent to arrest at that time and in the circumstances to arrest. 

An exception of the Armed forces

The members of the Armed Forces are protected from arrest as provided in Section 45 of CrPC.

Section 45(1) states that no member of the armed forces can be arrested for anything done while discharging the official duties except with the consent of the Central Government. It is subject to the conditions mentioned in Section 41-44 of the Code.

Section 45(2) lays out that the State Government may through a notification can direct that the sub-section (1) shall apply to any class or category of members of Armed forces who are charged with the maintenance of public order as may be specified thereupon, whenever they are serving. In other words, the State government just like the Central Government is empowered to use the power mentioned in sub-section (1).

Provisions related to arrest of women

Section 46(1) There should be a female officer to arrest a female.

Section 46(4) prescribes that no women shall be arrested after sunset and before sunrise, unless in exceptional cases, and female officers shall make the arrest in exceptional cases with permission of the Judicial magistrate.

Section 50 enjoins the police officer to inform the arrested person about the grounds of arrest and that he is entitled to the right of bail and he could arrange the sureties.

Section 50(A)(1) makes it obligatory for the police officer making the arrest to

immediately inform the arrestee’s friends, relatives or such other persons about the place

where the arrested person is being detained and inform the arrested person of such

rights. Entries of all the arrests shall be kept at the police station.

Section 50(2) says “the police officer shall inform the arrested person of his rights under sub-section (1) as soon as he is brought to the police station”.

Under Section 56, a police officer is to immediately take a person arrested without a warrant before the magistrate having jurisdiction or to the officer in charge of the police station.

Section 57 (A) says that the arrested person shall not be detained for more than 24 hours except the time taken during the journey before the production bef

ore the magistrate.

Section 58 says that the cases of all persons arrested without warrant must be reported to the local DM or SDM.

Under Section 60(A), arrests are to be made strictly according to the code, no arrest shall be made except in accordance with the provisions of the code.

Sec 50 (A)(4) prescribes that it shall be the duty of the magistrate before whom such arrested person is produced to satisfy himself that the requirement of section 50(2) – i.e., that the police had an obligation to inform relatives or such nominated persons where he is being kept in custody and the arrestee had been informed of such an obligation have been complied with.

Section 167 prescribes the procedure after the arrested person is brought before the magistrate. The police officer has to produce the relevant papers, including entries of the case diary. Sub section 3 gives discretion to the magistrate to remand an accused to police custody but only on recording his reasons.

Section 47 of CrPC provides for the search of a place sought to be entered. It further provides that the person having the warrant has the duty to enter the premises of the person being arrested. If the person is not able to easily ingress the premises or is not allowed to enter, then they have the authority to break open the door. It is done to take the person by surprise. 

But if there is any female occupying the premises then the person arrested has to give notice to that female to withdraw and shall afford every reasonable facility for withdrawing and they may break the apartment.

Any police officer or person making the arrest is authorised to break open the door in order to liberate himself if he is detained in that process. 

Secondly, in the case where the arrest is made under a warrant, the police officer under Section 75 CrPC is required to inform the person arrested about the substance of arrest and if required to show the order. If it is not done the arrest will become unlawful. 

The Indian Constitution also supports this and had emphasised upon it in Article 22(1), a fundamental right. It prescribes certain rights that are present with the accused at the time of arrest(fundamental in nature). It says that no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed about the reason for arrest and consult a legal practitioner of his choice. In re Madhu Limaye case, the petitioner was not informed about the grounds of his arrest along with his companions. He challenged this under Article 32 as it was in violation of his fundamental right before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court observed that there was a violation of an essential and vital right of the petitioner.

Thirdly, when an arrest is made without a warrant by a police officer, it is his duty to show before the magistrate without unnecessary delay (usually within 24 hours). It is also mentioned that the person arrested cannot be taken to any place other than the police station before presenting before the magistrate. This is provided in Article 22 with Section 56 and Section 76 of the CrPC. However, there is a practice of detaining the person in isolation due to Covid -19, and the duration is not calculated towards 24 hours; which in the eyes of the author bad; because if a person is required to be produced before magistrate in 24 hours, then he can be so produced even through video conferencing, without having to produce him personally. Therefore, compromise with the constitutional provisions should not be taken lightly by the courts. 

Section 151 gives power to the police officials to arrest a person, without a warrant, on the suspicion that he may commit a cognizable offence. However, this comes with certain conditions: the anticipated offence should be cognizable and the officer should feel that the offence would be prevented only by an arrest of the suspect. Section 107 gives similar powers to the magistrate. However, Numerous petitions have been filed questioning the constitutional validity of these sections as it gives plenty of room for the misuse of powers under these sections.

 

ARREST WITH WARRANT

  1. Form of warrant of arrest and duration.—

(1) Every warrant of arrest issued by a Court under this Code shall be in writing, signed by the presiding officer of such Court and shall bear the seal of the Court. 

(2) Every such warrant shall remain in force until it is cancelled by the Court which issued it, or until it is executed. 

  1. Power to direct security to be taken.

(1) Any Court issuing a warrant for the arrest of any person may in its discretion direct by endorsement on the warrant that, if such person executes a bond with sufficient sureties for his attendance before the Court at a specified time and thereafter until otherwise directed by the Court, the officer to whom the warrant is directed shall take such security and shall release such person from custody. 

(2) The endorsement shall state— (a) the number of sureties; (b) the amount in which they and the person for whose arrest the warrant is issued, are to be respectively bound; (c) the time at which he is to attend before the Court. 

(3) Whenever security is taken under this section, the officer to whom the warrant is directed shall forward the bond to the Court. 

  1. Warrants to whom directed.

(1) A warrant of arrest shall ordinarily be directed to one or more police officers; but the Court issuing such a warrant may, if its immediate execution is necessary and no police officer is immediately available, direct it to any other person or persons, and such person or persons shall execute the same. 

(2) When a warrant is directed to more officers or persons than one, it may be executed by all, or by any one or more of them. 

  1. Warrant may be directed to any person.— 

(1) The Chief Judicial Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class may direct a warrant to any person within his local jurisdiction for the arrest of any escaped convict, proclaimed offender or of any person who is accused of a non-bailable offence and is evading arrest. 

(2) Such person shall acknowledge in writing the receipt of the warrant, and shall execute it if the person for whose arrest it was issued, is in, or enters on, any land or other property under his charge. 

(3) When the person against whom such warrant is issued is arrested, he shall be made over with the warrant to the nearest police officer, who shall cause him to be taken before a Magistrate having jurisdiction in the case, unless security is taken under section 71.

RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION

The Supreme court upheld the right of consulting a legal practitioner by an accused as a Constitutional right under Articles 21 and 22(1) of the Constitution of India.

Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India states that a person who is arrested shall not be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice.

Therefore, this mandatory procedural requirement, reiterated by the Supreme Court in the 1997 case of DK Basu v. Union of India, entails that the person arrested has to not only be informed of the grounds of such arrest, but should also be asked by the Magistrate as to whether he/she requires to consult and be defended by his choice of lawyer.

In the 2018 case of Gautam Navlakha v. State (NCT of Delhi), it had been submitted by the State the “seriousness of the offence and the urgency of the situation” may lead to overlooking the requirements of law in letter and spirit. However, the Delhi High Court observed that in such cases, the concerned Magistrate would have to be satisfied with the explanation offered for non-compliance – “the departure from the mandatory requirement of the Constitution and the CrPC ought not to be lightly countenanced”.

Moreover, mere representation by a legal aid lawyer, without ensuring whether the accused had the opportunity to consult a lawyer of her own choice, will not satisfy the requirement of Art 22(1) of the Constitution, the High Court ruled. The Court also held that the mere fact that there was a legal aid lawyer representing the accused will not satisfy the requirement of Article 22(1), if it was not an effective representation. The Court noted that the legal aid lawyer in that case had not made any submissions before the Magistrate issued the transit remand order, and therefore the representation was merely “cosmetic”.

Two paragraphs from the judgment are worthy of being quoted here : “Turning to the order dated 28thAugust 2018 of the learned CMM in the present case, the Court finds that a duty lawyer empanelled pursuant to the Scheme of the National Legal Services Authority (“NALSA‟), the statutory body under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987(LSAA), was shown representing the person arrested, i.e., the present Petitioner. However, the Magistrate does not appear to have asked the arrested person, as mandated by Article 22 (1) of the Constitution, whether he was informed about the grounds of arrest and whether he wishes to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice. This requirement does not get diluted one bit only because the proceedings are for transit remand”. “There is no mention of the legal aid lawyer having made any submission whatsoever. The learned CMM did not even think it necessary to record any such submission. It thus appears to the Court that the appearance of the Duty lawyer for the Petitioner was cosmetic and not in the true spirit of Article 22(1) of the Constitution read with Section 12 (g) of the LSA which guarantees free legal aid to every person in custody.

GUIDELINES FOR INTER-STATE ARREST

In Sandeep Kumar v State, a division bench of Justices Dr S Muralidhar and Talwant Singh of the Delhi High Court had also directed for the implementation of guidelines that had been proposed by the Committee and pertained to protocol that must be followed by the police in the event of inter-state investigation or arrest. Relying on Sections 48, 77, 79 and 80 of the CrPC,

The guidelines stated the following guidelines for inter-state arrest:

  1. The Police Officer after assignment of the case to him, must seek prior permission/sanction of the higher/superior officers in writing or on phone (in case of urgency) to go out of State/UT to carry out investigation.
  2. In a case when the police officer decides to effect an arrest, he must set out the facts and record reasons in writing disclosing the satisfaction that arrest is necessary for the purpose of investigation. At first instance, he should move the Jurisdictional Magistrate to seek arrest/search warrants under Section 78 and 79 Cr PC except in emergent cases when the time taken is likely to result in escape of the accused or disappearance of incriminating evidence or the procurement of arrest/search warrant would defeat the purpose. The Police Officer must record reasons as to what were the compelling reasons to visit another State without getting arrest/search warrants.
  3. Before proceeding outside the State, the police officer must make a comprehensive departure entry in the Daily Diary of his Police Station. It should contain names of the police officials and private individuals accompanying him; vehicle number; purpose of visit; specific place(s) to be visited; time and date of departure.
  4. If the possible arrestee is a female, a lady police officer will be made part of the team. The Police Officers should take their identity cards with them. All police officers in the team should be in uniform; bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations.
  5. Before visiting the other State, the Police Officer must endeavour to establish contact with the local Police Station in whose jurisdiction he is to conduct the investigation. He must carry with him the translated copies of the Complaint/FIR and other documents in the language of the State which he intends to visit.
  6. After reaching the destination, first of all, he should inform the concerned police station of the purpose of his visit to seek assistance and cooperation. The concerned SHO should provide/render all legal assistance to him. Entry to this effect must be made at the said police station.
  7. After reaching the spot of investigation, search, if any should be strictly conducted in compliance of the procedure laid down, u/s 100 Cr PC. All endeavour should be made to join independent public witnesses from the neighbourhood. In case of arrest, the police officer must follow the procedure u/s 41A and 41B and Section 50 and 51 Cr PC. The process of arrest carried out by the police must be in compliance with the guidelines given in DK Basu case (Supra) and the provisions of CrPC.
  8. The arrested person must be given an opportunity to consult his lawyer before he is taken out of State.
  9. While returning, the police officer must visit the local police station and cause an entry made in the Daily Diary specifying the name and address of the person(s) being taken out of the State; articles if any, recovered. The victim’s name can also be indicated.
  10. Endeavor should be made to obtain transit remand after producing the arrestee before the nearest Magistrate unless exigencies of the situation warrant otherwise and the person can be produced before the Magistrate having jurisdiction of the case without infringing the mandate of S. 56 and 57 of Cr.P.C. within 24 hours.
  11. The magistrate before whom the arrestee is produced, must apply his mind to the facts of the case and should not grant transit remand mechanically. He must satisfy himself that there exists material in the form of entries in the case diary that justifies the prayer for transit remand. The act of directing remand of an accused is fundamentally a judicial decision. The magistrate does not act in executive capacity while ordering detention of the accused. He must ensure that requirements of S. 41 (l)(b) are satisfied. The police officer must send the case diary along with the remand report so that the magistrate can appreciate the factual scenario and apply his mind whether there is a warrant for police remand or justification for judicial remand or there is no need for any remand at all. The magistrate should briefly set out reasons for his decision. (Manubhai Ratilal Patel v. State of Gujarat, (2013) 1 SCC 314).
  12. Another mandatory procedural requirement for the Magistrate considering a transit remand application is spelt out in Article 22 (1) of Constitution of India. This entitles the person arrested to be informed as soon as may be the grounds of such arrest. The Magistrate has to ensure that the arrested person is not denied the right to consult and to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice. The Magistrate should ask the person arrested brought before him whether in fact he has been informed of the grounds of arrest and whether he requires to consult and be defended by any legal practitioner of his choice. (DK Basu, Supra) After the pronouncement of this judgment by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, new Sections 41A to 41D have been added to prevent unnecessary arrest and misuse of powers. Denying a person of his liberty is a serious matter.
  13. In terms of S. 41C, control rooms are established in every district. Names and addresses of the persons arrested and designation of the Police Officers who made the arrest be displayed. The Control Room at State level must collect details of the persons so arrested.
  14. The police officer must record all the proceedings conducted by him at the spot and prepare an ‘arrest memo’ indicating time, date of arrest and name of the relation/friend to whom intimation of arrest has been given. It must reveal the reasons for arrest.
  15. Since the arrestee is to be taken out of his State to a place away where he may not have any acquaintance, he may be permitted to take along with him (if possible), his family member/acquaintance to remain with him till he is produced before the jurisdictional Magistrate. Such family members would be able to arrange legal assistance for him.
  16. The arrested person must be produced before the jurisdictional Magistrate at the earliest, in any case, not beyond 24 hours from the date of arrest excluding the journey time so that arrest of such person and his detention, if necessary, may be justified by a judicial order. The 24 hours period prescribed u/s 57 Cr PC is the outermost limit beyond which a person cannot be detained in police custody. It does not empower a police officer to keep a person in a police station a minute longer than is necessary for the purpose of investigation and it does not give him an absolute right to keep a person till 24 hours.
  17. On arrival at the police station, the police officer must make an entry in the record and indicate the investigation carried out by him, the person arrested and the articles recovered. He should also inform his senior police officers/SHO concerned about it immediately. The superior Police Officer shall personally supervise such investigation.
  18. The police officer should effect arrest u/s 41(l)(b) Cr PC only when he has reasonable suspicion and credible information. He must satisfy himself about the existence of the material to effect arrest. There must be definite facts or averments as distinguished from vague surmises or personal feelings. The materials before him must be sufficient to cause a bona-de belief. He cannot take shelter under another person’s belief or judgment. He must affect arrest at his own risk and responsibility as the effect of illegal arrest could be commission of offence of wrongful confinement punishable u/s 342 IPC. Burden lies on the IO to satisfy the Court about his bona-de. No arrest can be made because it is lawful for the police officer to do so. Denying a person of his liberty is a serious matter.
  19. Medical examination soon after arrest to avoid possibility of physical torture during custody should be conducted.
  20. The IO must maintain a complete and comprehensive case diary indicating the investigation carried out by him.
  21. The log book of the vehicle used for transportation must be maintained and signed. The IO must indicate whether the vehicle was official or a private one; name of its driver and how and by whom it was arranged. Only official vehicles should be used for transportation to the extent possible.
  22. At the time of recovery of the prosecutrix, the police officer, if he is satisfied that she is an adult, should ascertain from her at the spot, whether she was present there with her free will. If the victim/prosecutrix is not willing to accompany the police officer or her relatives, the police officer must not exert force on the prosecutrix to take her away against her wishes. However, if the prosecutrix/victim of her own accord expresses willingness to accompany the police officer/relatives, her consent in writing should be obtained at the spot.
  23. In cases where the police officer finds the victim/prosecutrix to be a ‘minor’, soon after recovery, she should be produced before the local Child Welfare Committee for further decision regarding her custody. She must not be made to stay in the Police Station during night hours.
  24. Statement of the prosecutrix u/s 164 Cr.P.C. must be recorded at the earliest.
  25. MHA/Central Govt/Commissioner of Police must frame suitable guidelines for police officers to render all suitable assistance. The failure to adhere to the rules/guidelines should render the police officer liable for departmental action as well as contempt of the Court.
  26. The public prosecutor should provide required assistance to the police officer visiting his State at the time of seeking transit remand.
  27. The MHA/State Government should circulate the Rules/Guidelines/Notifications etc. from time to time to the Police officers in the State to create awareness. Periodically training should be provided to the Police Officers to sensitize them.
  28. Instructions/Guidelines of similar nature should exist in all the States/UTs for speedy, smooth and effective inter-State investigation.
  29. The delinquent Police Officer can be directed to pay compensation under the public law and by way of strict liability.
  30. If, in case of urgency or other considerations in the interest of investigation, it is not found feasible to inform the police station encompassing the jurisdiction of the search, seizure, arrest or investigation before the event, this should be done soon after the search, seizure, arrest etc. has been conducted.

ARREST OF A SHIP UNDER ADMIRALTY LAW / MARITIME LAW

ARREST OF A SHIP UNDER ADMIRALTY LAW / MARITIME LAW

 

INTRODUCTION

“The safety of the people shall be the highest law” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Ship Arrest Warrantied. Maritime Lawyers on Ship Arrest in Spain - GMM Law | Maritime Class Net

India has a long-standing history in dealing with the sea and has had a distinguished tradition for several years with trade and commerce, both within the region and beyond its territorial borders. India’s maritime history dates back to the 3rd millennium BCE, and since then many ships have sailed from India and, to India. Therefore, though there was no codified law as the one which exists today, the customs and regulations concerning sea and maritime activities have been in existence since time immemorial.

This article analyses the Maritime Law of India and the Law relating to ship arrests, including the jurisdiction, permissible claims and procedural aspects of ship arrests in India.

Before Independence, the laws relating to maritime laws in India were governed under the British government. The Coasting Vessels Act, 1838, Inland Steam Vessels Act, 1917, Admiralty Offences (Colonial) Act, 1849, Indian Registration of Ships Act, 1841, Indian Ports Act, 1908, Control of Shipping Act, 1947 are some of the regulations which deal with various aspects of maritime in India.

MEANING OF MARITIME LAW

In simple words, Maritime Law is a set of rules and regulations which govern the matters relating to sea and ships. It is also known as admiralty law. Numerous legal luminaries have provided their definition of the term ‘maritime law.’ Some of them are as follows:

Professor Grant Gilmore and Charles L. Black, in their ‘Law of Admiralty’, define maritime or Admiralty Law as the following:

”A corpus of rules, concepts and legal practices governing certain centrally important concerns of the business of carrying goods and passengers by water.”

Black’s Law dictionary defines maritime Law as- “the body of law governing marine commerce and navigation, the carriage at of persons and property, and marine affairs in general; the rules governing contract, tort and workers’ compensation claims or relating to commerce on or over water.”

The definitions, given above covers a wide range of activities concerning the sea, however now with the evolution of Law, the Maritime Law is comprehensive, and it is that branch of jurisprudence which covers all the matters relating to sea and ships.

SHIP ARREST

Ship arrest is a process in which a ship is prevented from trading or moving until the matter in question is decided. It is an exclusive jurisdiction that is granted to an admiralty court to detain a vessel to secure a maritime claim.

Article 2 of the International Convention Relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships, 1952 defines the term arrest as the following:

“(2) “Arrest” means the detention of a ship by judicial process to secure a maritime claim, but does not include the seizure of a ship in execution or satisfaction of a judgment.”

The main purpose of arrest is to obtain security for satisfaction of judgment in the action in rem and it is necessary to arrest the ship in order to establish jurisdiction. Merchant ships of different nationalities travel from port to port carrying goods or passengers. They incur liabilities in the course of their voyage and they subject themselves to the jurisdiction of foreign States when they enter the waters of those States. They are liable to be arrested for the enforcement of maritime claims, or seized in execution or satisfaction of judgments in legal actions arising out of collisions; salvage, loss of life or personal injury, loss of or damage to goods and the like. They are liable to be detained or confiscated by the authorities of foreign States for violating their customs, regulations, safety measures, rules of the road, health regulations, and for other causes. The coastal State may exercise its criminal jurisdiction on board the vessel for the purpose of arrest or investigation in connection with certain serious crimes. In the course of an international voyage, a vessel thus subjects itself to the public and private laws of various countries. A ship travelling from port to port stays very briefly in any one port. A plaintiff seeking to enforce his maritime claim against a foreign ship has no effective remedy once it has sailed away and if the foreign owner has neither property nor residence within jurisdiction. The plaintiff may therefore detain the ship by obtaining an order of attachment whenever it is feared that the ship is likely to slip out of jurisdiction, thus leaving the plaintiff without any security.

RATIONALITY

A ship arrest may be exercised under the authority of a court having admiralty jurisdiction, for the following reasons:

  1. Loss of life
  2. Loss of property
  3. Salvage
  4. Collision
  5. Execution of a decree
  6. Violation of customs, usages, regulations or norms

JURISDICTION OF INDIAN COURTS

Before India gained Independence, under The Colonial Court of Admiralty Act, 1890, the High Court of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta were the only judicial authorities competent to deal with matters relating to Admiralty. The other courts of justice were restricted from dealing with issues concerning the Admiralty. Under the Admiralty Courts Act, 1861, the three presidency courts were vested with the same powers as that of the High Court of England.

Section 35 of the Admiralty Courts Act, 1861 deals with the jurisdiction of Admiralty court, and it reads as the following:

“35. The jurisdiction conferred by this Act on the High Court of Admiralty may be exercised either by proceedings in rem or by proceedings in personam.”

The Law relating to Admiralty jurisdiction is relevant even today under Article 372 of the Constitution of India.

Therefore, in M.V. Elisabeth vs Harwan Investment and Trading, 1993 AIR SC 1014, the question was whether a court having no admiralty jurisdiction could entertain a case relating to Admiralty. The Supreme Court, in this case, widened the scope of admiralty jurisdiction in India.

The Court held

“Although statutes now control the field, much of the admiralty law is rooted in judicial decisions and influenced by the impact of Civil Law, Common Law, and equity. The ancient maritime codes like the Rhodian Sea Law, the Basilika, the Assizes of Jerusalem, the Rolls of Oleron, the Laws of Visby, the Hanseatic Code, the Black Book of the British Admiralty, Consolato del Mare, and others are, apart from statute, some of the sources from which the Law developed in England. Any attempt to confine Admiralty or maritime Law within the bounds of statutes is not only unrealistic but incorrect.”

THE SUPREME COURT MADE THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATION

“The High Courts in India are superior courts of record. They have original and appellate jurisdiction. They have inherent and plenary powers. Unless expressly or impliedly barred, and subject to the appellate or discretionary jurisdiction of this Court, the High Courts have unlimited jurisdiction, including the jurisdiction to determine their powers.”

Further, in this case, the International Convention for the unification of some rules regarding Arrest of Sea-going Ships (The Arrest Convention), 1952 was also made applicable to India, although it was not ratified.

Similarly, In the M.V Sea Success case, the Supreme Court held that the principles laid down in 1999 Geneva Arrest Convention could be applied in India on matters concerning Admiralty.

In India, The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017 was enacted on 9 August 2017 to consolidate the laws relating to Admiralty. The Act implemented, repeals all the outdated provisions relating to Admiralty.

As per Section 3 of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017, the jurisdiction concerning admiralty matters shall be vested in the respective High Courts, and the courts shall exercise their authority within the territorial waters of their jurisdiction.

Therefore, now the scope of admiralty jurisdiction has been widened, and apart from the presidency courts, the following courts (coastal regions) have jurisdiction to deal with admiralty matters:

  1. High Court of Gujarat
  2. High Court of Andhra Pradesh
  3. High Court of Orissa
  4. High Court of Kerala

PERMISSIBLE CLAIMS

The High Courts’ as discussed earlier, has the jurisdiction to entertain claims as provided under Article 1 of the Arrest Convention, 1952 and Article 1 of the Geneva Arrest Convention, 1999. Therefore, before the enactment of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017, the claims were as provided under the conventions as discussed earlier. However, now the Law relating to Maritime claim is provided under section 4 of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017.

Section 4 of the Act reads as the following:

“The High Court may exercise jurisdiction to hear and determine any question on a maritime claim, against any vessel, arising out of any

  • a dispute regarding the possession or ownership of a vessel or the ownership of any share therein
  • dispute between the co-owners of a vessel as to the employment or earnings of the vessel
  • mortgage or a charge of the same nature on a vessel;
  • loss or damage caused by the operation of a vessel
  • loss of life or personal injury occurring whether on land or on water, in direct connection with the operation of a vessel
  • loss or damage to or in connection with any goods
  • agreement relating to the carriage of goods or passengers on board a vessel, whether contained in a charter party or otherwise
  • salvage services, including, if applicable, special compensation relating to salvage services in respect of a vessel which by itself or its cargo threatens damage to the environment
  • Pilotage
  • goods, materials, perishable or non-perishable provisions, bunker fuel, equipment (including containers), supplied or services rendered to the vessel for its operation, management, preservation or maintenance including any fee payable or leviable;
  • construction, reconstruction, repair, converting or equipping of the vessel;
  • dues in connection with any port, harbour, canal, dock or light tolls, other tolls, waterway or any charges of similar kind chargeable under any law for the time being in force
  • claim by a master or member of the crew of a vessel or their heirs and dependents for wages or any sum due out of wages or adjudged to be due which may be recoverable as wages or cost of repatriation or social insurance contribution payable on their behalf or any amount an employer is under an obligation to pay to a person as an employee, whether the obligation arose out of a contract of employment or by operation of a law (including operation of a law of any country) for the time being in force, and includes any claim arising under a manning and crew agreement relating to a vessel, notwithstanding anything contained in the provisions of sections 150 and 151 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 (44 of 1958)
  • disbursements incurred on behalf of the vessel or iparticular average or general average
  • dispute arising out of a contract for the sale of the vessel
  • insurance premium (including mutual insurance calls) in respect of the vessel, payable by or on behalf of the vessel owners or demise charterers
  • commission, brokerage or agency fees payable in respect of the vessel by or on behalf of the vessel owner or demise charterer
  • damage or threat of damage caused by the vessel to the environment, coastline or relate interests; measures taken to prevent, minimize, or remove such damage; compensation for such damage; costs of reasonable measures for the restoration of the environment actually undertaken or to be undertaken; loss incurred or likely to be incurred by third parties in connection with such damage; or any other damage, costs, or loss of a similar nature to those identified in this clause
  • costs or expenses relating to raising, removal, recovery, destruction or the rendering harmless of a vessel which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board such vessel, and costs or expenses relating to the preservation of an abandoned vessel and maintenance of its crew; and
  • maritime lie

PROCEDURE FOR ARREST

The Law relating to the arrest of a vessel in rem is provided under Section 5 of the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Act, 2017.

Under the section, the High Court may order for the arrest of any vessel within its jurisdiction, where there is a reason to believe:

  • The owner of the vessel is liable for the claim, or
  • The demise charterer of the vessel is liable for the claim, or
  • The claim is based on a mortgage or similar charge, or
  • The claim relates to possession or ownership, or
  • The claim is against the owner, demise charterer, manager or operator of the vessel.

Once the claim has been decided, the claimant has to state the detailed facts, along with the other particulars and must make an application for the substantive suit. The Admiralty suit should specify:

  • The name of the claimant
  • The name of the vessel
  • Flag of the Vessel
  • Details of the owner of the ship
  • Facts relating to the dispute
  • Grounds and
  • Prayer

Once an arrest warrant is issued upon a vessel, the owner of the vessel has to appear and settle the claim or challenge the arrest made. The vessel may be allowed to sail subject to furnishing of security for the claim. At the default of the owner, the ship can be sold, and the sale proceeds may be used to settle the claim.

Therefore, the Law relating to ship arrest is now well settled in India. The admiralty law is an area of development, and it plays an inevitable role in protecting the citizens as well as ensuring that no organization or individual violates the Law of the sea.

CONCLUSION

Therefore, the Law relating to ship arrest is now well settled in India. The admiralty law is an area of development, and it plays an inevitable role in protecting the citizens as well as ensuring that no organization or individual violates the Law of the sea.

LAW OF DETENTION IN INDIA

LAW OF DETENTION IN INDIA

Detention

Detention is defined as the act of reserving a person or property and, ‘illegal detention’ is the unsubstantiated imprisonment or unlawful deprivation of liberty of an individual by arresting for an illegitimate cause or suspicion, along with continuous restraint on one’s personal liberty by detaining such individual in custody.

A Police officer can detain an individual, if he has reasonable doubt or suspicion that a crime has been or will be committed, or if he reasonably believes that an individual may have information regarding the same, the Police officer may then have the liberty of detaining the individual for a short span of time, in order to investigate into the matter. If an individual is ever detained, the authorities are allowed to

  • frisk the person for any weapons,
  • seek information regarding the crime that is believed to occur.

If police officers have probable cause to believe a specific person has committed a crime, he can arrest that person. At that point, he can conduct a complete search for the person for weapons, evidence, and contraband as well as their vehicle if he is or has been near it recently. He can hold that person in jail for 24 hours or until he gets a warrant issued for the charges. If a person is unlawfully detained by the police, the Constitution allows redressal by the  filing of a habeas corpus petition under Article 32 or 226. Traditionally, its sole purpose is to have any person under arrest brought to court. Now, if the person has been unlawfully detained, the court can order his release.

Safeguards under Constitution of India

Article 22 of Indian Constitution broadly deals with the rights of a person who has been arrested or detained. The first two clauses deal with the rights of a person who has been arrested for a crime he has already committed. Other clauses are related to the rights and the procedure for the arrest and detention of persons under preventive detention. Article 22 makes the minimum procedural requirements which must be included in any law enacted by legislature in accordance with which a person is deprived of his personal liberty and thus provides for the protection against illegal arrest and detention.

Clause 1 of Article 22 of Indian Constitution states that a person who has been arrested under normal circumstances (not under preventive detention), has the right to know the charges for which he has been arrested and can be detained further and he can’t be denied off an attorney or a lawyer’s service to represent him in court or to guide him and defend him in the court of law. The concerned authority, like the police or any other government authority, is compelled to tell him this information as soon as possible.

Clause 2 of Article 22 of Indian Constitution states that any person who has been arrested by an authority, must be presented before a magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. This period of 24 hours doesn’t include the time taken to travel to the court of the magistrate. The person cannot be detained or held in custody for more than twenty four hours. After that, it is with the authority or permission of the magistrate that an agency or government body can extend the period of the detention.

Clause (3) of Article 22 however expressly takes away the safeguards of clauses (1) and (2) of Article 22. It states that:-

(a) This states that the rights mentioned in the first two clauses are not valid for a person who is an “enemy alien”. 

(b) This sub-clause states that the rights mentioned in the first two clauses are not applicable to people who have been arrested or detained on the grounds of preventive detention.

Preventive detention means detention of a person without trial and conviction by a court, but merely on suspicion in the mind of an executive authority. Preventive detention is fundamentally different from imprisonment after trial and conviction in a criminal court. In conviction, an accused is sought to be punished for a past act. The offence has to be proved in the court beyond reasonable doubt. In preventive detention a person is detained without trial in the subjective satisfaction of the executive. 

Clause 4 of Article 22 of Indian Constitution deals with the provisions related to safeguard the misuse of the preventive detention powers of the government agencies. According to this, a person who has been detained under preventive detention, cannot be held for more than 3 months without the recommendation of an advisory board. This advisory board will be formed containing at least three members who are either high court judges or have the qualification to be high court judges. 

Clause 5 of Article 22 of Indian Constitution mentions that an individual detained under any order which refers to preventive detention, may be given the right to know the grounds of detention and allowed to make representation against the said detention, on a time that the government sees fit and must be considered as soon as possible.

Clause 6 of Article 22 of Indian Constitution states that while disclosing the grounds of detention to a person, under clause (5) of Article 22 of Indian Constitution, the government has a right to withhold the specifics or facts which it may consider will harm the public interest. 

Clause 7 of Article 22 describe the powers of parliament that by passing law the parliament can

(a) Define the necessary situations in which a person or class can be detained for more than 3 months, without consulting with the Advisory Board. However, they will need to pass a law for this.

(b) It can decide the maximum period of detention

(c) It can modify or define the procedure which is to be followed by the advisory board.

LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS

D.K Basu V State of West Bengal-

In this case, D.K Basu, the Executive chairman of West Bengal Legal Aid Services wrote to the Chief Justice of India about the deaths occurring in police custody which was treated as a writ petition and thus the Supreme Court issued guidelines that are-

  1. Police personnel should wear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations while carrying out interrogation and arrest.
  2. A memo of arrest shall be prepared by an arresting police officer and shall be attested by at least one witness and countersigned by the arrestee.
  3. One friend or relative of the arrestee shall be informed, as soon as practicable, of the arrest and detention at the place in question
  4. Where the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside the district then he or she must be notified by the police of the time, place of arrest and venue of custody within 8 to 12 hours of the arrest
  5. Arrestee must be informed of his right as soon as he or she is arrested or detained
  6. An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding all the particulars like arrest of the person, name of next friend who has been informed and the names of the police officers in whose custody the arrestee is detained.
  7. On request, the arrestee should be examined for injuries at the time of arrest and provided with a copy of the resulting report, signed by both the officer and arrestee.
  8. The arrestee should undergo a medical examination every 48 hours by a doctor from an approved panel
  9. Copies of all documents regarding the arrest are to be sent to the appropriate local Magistrate for his or her records
  10. The arrestee may be permitted to meet with his or her lawyer during interrogation , though not throughout the interrogation
  11. A police control room must be established at all district and State headquarters where information regarding arrest should be received within 12 hours of the arrest and displayed on a conspicuous notice board.

Bhim Singh v. State of Jammu and Kashmir-

In this case, a Member of Legislative Assembly (M.L.A.) of Jammu and Kashmir was detained by the police on the eve of the Assembly sessions. From the facts of the case the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that Bhim Singh was not produced either before the Magistrate on 11th or before the Sub Judge on 13th , though he was arrested in the early hours of 10th of September, 1985. According to Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India, persons arrested or detained “shall be produced before the nearest Magistrate within a period of twenty four hours.” On the given facts the Court found that the conduct of police officers was a gross violation of Bhim Singh’s constitutional rights under Article 21 and 22(2). The above discussion amply establishes the fact that persons who are unlawfully deprived of the personal liberty by the officials are legally entitled to claim compensation or damages from the State.

DETENTION UNDER AFSPA

According to section 4 of Armed forces special Power ACT Any Armed forces personnel can shoot to kill in case of the commission or suspicion of the commission of offences and arrest without a warrant.It is  contrary to the Article 21 and Article 22 which talks about the Right to liberty and protect the people from unnecessary detention. AFSPA,violates human rights, There are so many examples when the oppressive powers given to the armed forces have been misused.

Case Laws

  • In Naga’s People Movement, Of Human… vs Union of India, 1997, many writ petitions were filed which probed the authenticity of the Armed Forces (Special Provisions) Act, 1958 and the Assam Disturbed Areas Act,1955. The petitions were filed upon seeing the injustice faced by the people of the disturbed areas. Based on the report, the inquiry found that the complaints were filed whenever there is a misuse of power but on the other side, many complaints were found false. Thus, it was held that the armed forces must function according to the Do’s and Don’ts while using the special power under this Act.
  • In People’s Union For Human Rights vs. Union of India And Ors, 1991, the question was raised that could armed forces arrest a person, male or female without the involvement of the Police Authority or not. It was held that any person whether male or female can be arrested without the consent of the Police Authority during the time and place of which the act being in force.

DETENTION UNDER UAPA

The section 43 D of the UAPA states that if it is not possible to complete the investigation within the said period of ninety days, the Court may if it is satisfied with the report of the Public Prosecutor indicating the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for the detention of the accused beyond the said period of ninety days, extend the said period up to one hundred and eighty days:

The way the UAPA is being used by the current regime shows that we need to repeal the legislation instead of diluting it. In Bhima Koregaon cases in Maharashtra, everyone is being charged as a terrorist, irrespective of whether that person has anything to do with terrorism. In North-East Delhi cases, victims are charged under UAPA when they were raising their voice through peaceful protests in a non-violent manner.

There is no review committee available under UAPA that would filter the cases and allow prosecuting someone. UAPA took the shape of anti-terrorism law without any sunset clause. In making a comparison between the aforementioned legislations, the UAPA is more oppressive compared to POTA and TADA. There are strict bail conditions in the UAPA and chances of bail are rare.

Case law

  • In Angela Harish Sontakke v State of Maharashtra(2016), the Supreme Court granted bail to the accused, notwithstanding section 43-D(5) of UAPA. The Supreme Court followed this precedent in Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe v State of Maharashtra (2017) wherein the accused had spent four years in jail, and there were over 147 witnesses still unexamined. “The present case is more egregious than those two above-cited instances,” the Justice Ramana-led bench observed on Monday.

DETENTION UNDER PASA

The Section 3 of the prevention of anti social activities act, 1985 states that, 

(1) The State Government may if satisfied with respect to any person that with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, it is necessary to do so, make an order directing that such person be detained.

(2) If, having regard to the circumstances prevailing or likely to prevail in any area within the local limits of the jurisdiction of a District Magistrate or a Commissioner of Police, the State Government is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, it may, by order in writing, direct that the District Magistrate of the Commissioner of Police, may also, if satisfied as provided in sub-section (1), exercise the powers conferred by the said sub-section.

The act provides for preventive detention of habitual offenders Under the PASA Act, habitual offenders can be held in preventive detention on the orders of district magistrate for upto one year. After detaining a person, the authorities have to inform the PASA Advisory Board within three weeks, and the board, headed by a retired high court judge, has to inform the government if the detention is valid or not.

If the board opines that there are no sufficient grounds, the detention order is revoked.

Many times the preventive detention under PASA has been misused and abused by the executive authorities but the judiciary have given certain guidelines and judgement which protect the fundamental rights of the accused.

CASE LAW

  • Thakarsibhai v. State of Gujarat

The Court in lieu of the above judgment held that contention raised by the petitioner cannot sustain as only in the exceptional cases, pre detention matters were maintainable. The Court dismissed the petition considering the fact that only one FIR had been registered against the petitioner and the case of the petitioner is not such that it can be entertained under Article 226 of the Constitution of India and no other exceptional circumstance is carved out to intervene with the principles of the detention.

OTHER IMP CASE LAWS RELATED TO DETENTION

  1. The first Preventive Detention Act was passed after independence in 1950. But this act was questioned on its validity in the case of AK Gopalan v. The State of Madras where it was apparent that freedom of an individual does not qualify as provided under Article 21. The Supreme Court, having taken a limited view of Articles 21 and 22, refused to entertain whether there were any inadequacies in the procedure provided by law. It was of the faith that each constitutional article was autonomous of each other. When the petitioner questioned the validity of his detention on the grounds that it violated his rights pursuant to Articles 19 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court disregarded all the arguments that the detention could be justified merely on the ground that it was conducted in accordance with the ‘legally established procedure.’
  2. In the case of Maneka Gandhi v. Union Of India, the court considerably broadened the range of the expression ‘personal liberty’ and interpreted it in its broadest extent. The court noted that Article 21 does not exclude Article 19 and that any statute depriving a citizen of personal liberty will have to concurrently stand up to the scrutiny of Article 21 and Article 19.
  3. Justice Chandrachud in the case of Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. v Union Of India And Ors. established threefold conditions in the case of an infringement of personal liberty of individuals: (i) validity, which presupposes the presence of law; (ii) need, identified as a valid purpose of the State; and (iii) proportionality, which guarantees a fair relationship between the objects and the ways pursued to attain them.

CONCLUSION

The intention of the preventive detention law is to prevent the anti-social elements from causing hindrances in the society which might lead to harmful effects on the lives of citizens, but these laws have to be applied with utmost care and precaution so as to avoid any controversy. These laws directly affect the fundamental rights and freedoms of people who are guaranteed by the primary source of law in India i.e. the Constitution of India and the complexities arising out of the irresponsible implementation of these laws can consume a lot of time of the judiciary and life of the person so detained.

What To Do When You Are Arrested

When you are arrested, you are taken into custody. This means that you are not free to leave the scene. Without being arrested, you can be detained, however, or held for questioning for a short time if a police officer or other person believes you may be involved in a crime. For example, an officer may detain you if you are carrying a large box near a burglary site. You can also be detained by storekeepers if they suspect you have stolen something.

Whether you are arrested or detained, you do not have to answer any questions except to give your name and address and show some identification if requested.

What Rights Do I Have?

Whether you are an adult citizen or non-citizen, you have certain rights if you are arrested.
Before the law enforcement officer questions you, he or she should tell you that:
# You have the right to remain silent.
# Anything you say may be used against you.
# You have a right to have a lawyer present while you are questioned.
# If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you.
These are your rights, guaranteed by the Constitution. If you are not given these warnings, your lawyer can ask that any statements you made to the police not be used against you in court. But this does not necessarily mean that your case will be dismissed. This does not apply if you volunteer information without being questioned by the police.

Once I Am Told My Rights, Can I Be Questioned?

You can be questioned, without a lawyer present, only if you voluntarily give up your rights and if you understand what you are giving up. If you agree to the questioning, then change your mind, questioning must stop as soon as you say that you want a lawyer. If the questioning continues after you request a lawyer and you continue to talk, your answers can be used against you if you testify to something different. You may be required to give certain physical evidence. For example, if you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol you may be requested to take a test to measure the amount of alcohol in your system. If you refuse to take the test, your driver’s license will be suspended and the refusal will be used against you in court. Once you are booked, meaning your arrest is written into official police records and you are fingerprinted and photographed, you have a right to make and complete three telephone calls that are free within the local dialing area.

When Should I See A Lawyer?

If you are arrested for a crime, particularly a serious one, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. He or she has a better sense of what you should and should not say to law enforcement officers to avoid being misinterpreted or misunderstood. The lawyer also can advise you or your family or friends on the bail process.

Who Can Arrest Me?

All law enforcement officers – such as police officers, county sheriff officers, investigators in a district attorney’s or an attorney general’s offices and highway patrol officers – can arrest you whether they are on or off duty, in most cases. A probation or parole officer also can arrest you.

They can arrest you – even if they do not have an arrest warrant – if they have probable cause or good reason to believe you committed a felony, such as armed robbery. (A felony is a crime of a more serious nature than a misdemeanor, usually punishable by imprisonment for more than a year.) They do not have to see you commit a felony in order to arrest you. They do, however, have to see you commit a misdemeanor in order to arrest you.

If you commit an infraction, instead of taking you into custody, they may ask to sign a citation or notice. This is a minor offense, such as a moving violation, where the punishment usually is a fine. If you sign the citation, you are not admitting guilt; you are only promising to appear in court. If you have no identification or refuse to sign, however, an officer may take you into custody.

Can Someone Other Than A Police Officer Arrest Me?

Any person, such as a private security guard, can make a citizen’s arrest if they see a misdemeanor being attempted or committed. (A misdemeanor is a criminal offense, usually punishable with a fine or short jail term.) They also can make a legal arrest for a felony as long as it actually was committed and they have good reason to believe you did it. They must take you to a police officer or judge who is required by law to take you into custody.

When Is An Arrest Warrant Used?

Usually a warrant is required before you can be taken into custody in your home. But you can be arrested at home without a warrant if fast action is needed to prevent you from escaping, destroying evidence, endangering someone’s life or seriously damaging property.

The warrant must be signed by a magistrate or judge, who must have good reason to believe that you, whom the warrant names, committed a crime. If your name is unknown, “John Doe” can be used on the warrant – along with your description.

Once an arrest warrant is issued, any law enforcement officer in the state can arrest you – even if the officer does not have a copy of the warrant. Generally, there is no time limit on using a warrant to make an arrest.

Before entering your home, a law enforcement officer must knock and identify himself or herself and tell you that you are going to be arrested. If you refuse to open the door – or if there is another good reason – the officer can break in through a door or window.

If the police have an arrest warrant, you should be allowed to see it. If they don’t have the warrant with them, you should be allowed to see it as soon as practical.

The police may search the area within your reach. If you are arrested outdoors, they may not search your home or car.

Resisting an arrest or detention is a crime. If you resist arrest, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony in addition to the crime for which you are being arrested. If you resist, an officer can use force to overcome your resistance or prevent your escape. The officer can even use deadly force if it appears you will use force to cause great bodily injury.

When Can I Be Released?

If, during the questioning and before a charge is filed, the police are convinced that you have not committed a crime, they will give you a written release. Your arrest then will be considered a detention and not recorded as an arrest.

What Is Bail And How Is It Set?

The amount of bail – money or other security deposited with the court to insure that you will appear – is set by a schedule in each state. You may be notified that you can forfeit or give up bail instead of appearing in court if you receive a traffic citation. However, if you have any doubt, go to court so a warrant is not issued for your arrest for failing to appear. Bail forfeiture does not apply to misdemeanors or felonies. Forfeiting bail does not mean that the charges are dropped and usually works as a conviction for a traffic offense.

Officers at the jail may be able to accept bail. If you cannot post or put up the bail, you will be kept in custody. Depending on where you are arrested, you may have the opportunity to request a bail reduction through a bail commissioner.

When you are taken to court for bail setting or release, the judge will consider the seriousness of the offense you are charged with, any prior failures to appear (even for traffic tickets), any previous record, your connections to the community, as well as the probability that you will appear in court. The amount of bail is set according to a written schedule based on your charges. The law presumes you are guilty of the charges for purposes of setting bail or release.

Instead of paying bail, you might be released on your own recognizance or “O.R.” (or supervised O.R.). This means that you do not have to pay bail because the judge believes that you will show up for court appearances without bail.

Who Maintains Arrest Records And What Do They Include?

Local police departments and the State Department of Justice keep arrest records. According to law, they cannot show them to anyone except law enforcement officers and may only show records of your convictions to certain licensing agencies which have a right by state law to investigate your criminal background.

The arrest record includes when and why you were arrested, whether the charges against you were dropped or whether you were convicted of the charges, and the subsequent sentence imposed. Both pleading guilty and being found guilty after a trial count as convictions.

If you are convicted of committing a misdemeanor, placed on probation and stay out of trouble, you are able to have the conviction removed from your record for such purposes as employment background checks after probation is over. If you are convicted of certain felonies and you successfully complete probation, you can have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor on your record. You must contact the probation officer in either instance to clear your record.

What Happens at an Arraignment?
You have a right to be arraigned without unnecessary delay – usually within two court days – after being arrested. You will appear before a municipal or a justice court judge who will tell you officially of the charges against you at your first arraignment. At the arraignment, an attorney may be appointed for you if you cannot afford one, and bail can be raised or lowered. You also can ask to be released on O.R., even if bail was previously set.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can plead guilty or not guilty at the arraignment. Or, if the court approves, you can plead nolo contendere, meaning that you will not contest to the charges. Legally this is the same as a guilty plea, but it cannot be used against you in a non-criminal case, unless the charge can be punished as a felony.

Before pleading guilty to some first-time offenses, such as drug use or possession in small amounts for personal use, you may want to find out if your county has any drug diversion programs. Under these programs, instead of fining you or sending you to jail, the court may order you to get counseling which can result in dismissal of the charges if you complete the counseling.

If misdemeanor charges are not dropped, a trial will be held later in municipal court. If you are charged with a felony, however, and the charges are not dropped, the next step is a preliminary hearing.

What Happens At A Preliminary Hearing?
During the preliminary hearing, usually within 10 court days of the arraignment, the district attorney’s office must present evidence showing a reasonable suspicion that a felony was committed and that you did it to convince the judge that you should be brought to trial.

You may have a second arraignment. If the felony charges are not dropped at the preliminary hearing, you will be arraigned in superior court where your trial later will be held.

If you are charged with a crime and unable to understand English, you have a right to an interpreter throughout the proceedings.

When Can An Officer Conduct A Search?

An officer always may only make a search with either your consent or a search warrant. You have a right, however, to see the warrant before the search begins.

When Can An Officer Search You, Your Home Or Your Car Without A Warrant?
Body Searches. If you are arrested, an officer can search you, without a warrant, for weapons, evidence or illegal or stolen goods. Strip searches should not be conducted for offenses that do not involve weapons, drugs or violence unless police reasonably suspect you are concealing a weapon or illegal goods and they have authorization from the supervising officer on duty. If you are booked and jailed, you may undergo a full body search, including body cavities.

Home Searches. In emergencies, such as when an officer may be trying to prevent someone from destroying evidence, your home can be searched without your consent and without a warrant. If you are taken into custody in your home, an officer without a warrant can search only the limited area in which you are arrested. Other rooms – and even other parts of the same room – are off limits, unless the officer believes that other suspects are hiding in other rooms. While searching your home, an officer can seize evidence of any crime, such as stolen property or drugs, that is in plain sight.

Car Searches. Your car and trunk can be searched without your consent or a warrant if an officer has good reason to believe it contains illegal or stolen goods or evidence. If the police stop your car for any legal reason – such as a broken tail light – they can take any illegal goods in plain sight.

If you, your home or your car are searched illegally, a judge might say that any evidence found during the search cannot be used against you in court. If you or your lawyer, however, do not object to the evidence before trial, the court might allow the evidence to be used. Even if the judge does decide that the evidence cannot be used against you, that does not always mean that your case will be dismissed.