What is an arrest?
Mississippi criminal law defines an arrest as “taking into custody of another person…for the purpose of holding him to answer” for an alleged or suspected crime. Smith v. State, 229 So.2d 551 (Miss. 1969). Further, a person may be considered “under arrest” even though no formal words such as “you’re under arrest” were spoken. Gearing v. State, 185 So.2d 652 (Miss. 1962). A person may also be considered “under arrest” even though he was not physically restrained, or even if he consented to the detention. Fuqua v. State, 145 So.2d 152 (Miss. 1962).
As shown by these cases, a person can be “under arrest” long before the handcuffs come out. Why is it important to pinpoint the exact moment a person is under arrest? Because numerous rights and procedural protections attach to a person whom the law deems to be under arrest. If the Government does not observe these rights and safeguards, the charges may be dismissed or evidence excluded.
It’s not always clear when a person is under arrest. Even the police can’t figure it out sometimes. If you have been arrested, please call me at 601.944.1984 to discuss your case.