Arrest And Charge, Summons, Warrants
- Police have no right to detain a person unless the arrest is lawful.
- There are certain conditions for an arrest to be legal:
- At the time of the arrest, the person must know why they are being arrested, and that they cannot resist à minimum amount of force must be used.
- Police must issue a caution that the person will be asked questions they may refuse to answer and that their answers will be recorded, which has to be understood by the arrested individual.
- Police have discretion whether to charge a suspect or let them go with a warning.
- Decision may be influenced by many factors e.g. the offender’s race, family background or address.
- In the case of minor matters or summary offences, summons are handed out.
- These may replace arrest.
- It is a legal document which requires a person to attend court, it contains:
- The details of the charge
- Outlines when and where the charge will be heard
- Outlines consequences of failing to attend
- The word alleged means that the person is only suspected of having committed the crime: it has not yet been proved that the person has committed the offence
- Information and Summons – Official legal document which commands the person to whom is is addressed to appear at a particular court on a particular day
- Information and Warrant – Written authorisation issued by a judge or magistrate which gives the police power to arrest the person named on it
- Arrest without Warrant – Police may arrest anyone they reasonably suspect of having committed a crime, or being about to commit a crime. Officers, on arrest, must:
- – Tell the person why he/she is under arrest
- – Tell the person why he/she is being arrested
- – Touch the person being arrested
- Police can choose whether to arrest someone for a crime or not. In the case of minor offences, police have the discretion to give a warning or to arrest the offender.
Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.