Police & the Arrest - Lawful Arrest

What Is a Lawful Arrest?


The criminal justice process begins when a person is taken into police custody. An arrest is lawful when the police officer has probable cause to believe that the person being arrested has committed a particular offense. Probable cause generally refers to the facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe a particular person has committed a specific offense, possesses evidence related to the offense or is in possession of the proceeds of a crime, or that a physical location contains evidence related to a crime or the proceeds of a crime.