Thoughtful and thorough legal representation for over 40 combined years.

The difference between getting arrested and detained

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

When you interact with law enforcement in Oklahoma, you need to understand the difference between getting arrested and detained. These terms might seem similar, but they represent different legal processes and rights.

If your situation involves law enforcement, knowing whether an arrest or detention is happening can help you navigate the situation more effectively.

Defining detention in Oklahoma

A police officer detains you when they stop you for questioning but lack enough evidence to arrest you. During detention, the officer might think you are involved in illegal activity and needs to investigate further. Detentions usually are brief, and you are not free to leave during this time.

For example, a routine traffic stop is a form of detention. The officer stops you because they believe you broke a traffic law. They may ask questions, ask for your driver’s license and check for warrants. However, the officer cannot keep you longer than reasonably necessary to deal with the purpose of the stop.

Understanding arrest in Oklahoma

An arrest is more serious. A police officer arrests you when they take you into custody, typically because they have enough evidence to believe that you committed a crime. After an arrest, you are not free to leave.

During an arrest, the officer will tell you your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to representation. After an arrest, you could end up in jail, and you may face criminal charges.

Knowing the key differences between arrest and detention

The level of suspicion and the length of the interaction are the key differences between an arrest and detention. Detention is brief and happens because of reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity. An arrest lasts longer, typically requires more evidence and can lead to criminal charges.

While both arrest and detention can be stressful experiences, they differ in crucial ways. Understanding these differences can help you know your rights and what to expect when interacting with law enforcement in Oklahoma.