Being Detained VS. Being Under Arrest

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kevsocko
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Being Detained VS. Being Under Arrest

Postby kevsocko » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:40 pm

Many applications ask you to explain any arrests, but not detentions. My understanding of a detention, is that anytime an officer approaches you and wants to talk to you, you are being "detained." if you are pulled over, that is a detention.


I have a strange case; without going into specifics, I was once taking to jail along with all my roommates for a certain crime. I had to post a bail and appear in court. Once I arrived in court, the judge said this case was still under investigation, and I was never charged with a crime. Eventually, it turned out the police were corrupt, didn't follow proper procedures, had a faulty search warrant, etc..

A month later, I recieved a letter that said I was never "under arrest," I was only "detained" intimating that if anyone ever asked about my arrest record, I need not disclose this incident.

Anyone have any idea about any of this? I have not disclosed this incident on any applications and I don't plan to...

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edgarderby
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Postby edgarderby » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:54 pm

The police can detain people for anything and it's not a big deal. It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong.

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overcastagain
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Postby overcastagain » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:05 pm

I've been stopped a couple times while walking down the street to be asked questions about something that occurred in the area that I happened to be in. It's no big deal. I did mention it in an application that I had to fill out for a background check once but they specifically stated to mention such things.

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corcop
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Postby corcop » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:06 pm

I'm not sure if there was a question in there, or simply a statement, but I will try to help anyway. Being a police officer myself, I can tell you that "detaining" someone is NOT an arrest. As you stated, simply being pulled over for a traffic violation is a detention. It is not an arrest. Someone is detained for the purposes of allowing the officer to continue their investigation. If he develops probable cause for the person's arrest, then they can be arrested, booked into jail, cited, released, etc. If no PC is obtained, then the person would/should be released as soon as possible. If you are never told that you are "under arrest", then you probably never were.

With that being said, if you were booked into jail, processed, posted bail, given a court date, the whole nine yards...definately sounds like an arrest to me. Now if the court later dismissed the charges, gave you deferred prosecution, or something other than that...then it is still an arrest. You just were never formally charged. Unless it was dismissed with prejudice, they can still re-file the charges until the statute of limitations expires. IF there was some fault or wrongdoing found on the part of the officers in question, and your detention and subsequent arrest was found to be unlawful, then I would agree somewhat...you were never arrested (technically), but in reality you still were.

Yet again, with that also being said, I don't believe it would be a good idea to hide this incident from schools. First of all, most applications that I filled out said that you must report any arrest/detention, whether formally charged with a crime or not, or even if the charges were filed and dismissed. I realize that many only say "arrest", which is our subject of discussion. I believe this probably to be meant as "arrest" in the general sense of the word, to include detention as a suspect. Secondly, if the charges were dropped because you were found to be uninvolved, then why hide it? If they find out later (which someone very well might), then even if you did nothing wrong, it appears as if you're trying to hide something.

If I were you, in the interest of full disclosure, I would report and briefly explain the incident. It avoids questions later if the incident were found by the school/bar assoc/employers, who check back to your law school app or other materials. A last word of advice...when explaining this incident to others, you might want to avoid calling the police "corrupt" unless you have evidence that they were. Saying that they made a mistake, or had errors in their investigation is fine. Saying that they are corrupt just screams of blaming someone else for YOUR mistake and/or saying that their mistake mitigates yours.

Good luck to you, and I hope that whatever happened, you learned from your mistake and have stopped whatever it is that got you in that situation in the first place. Anyone aspiring to enforce the law shouldn't break it...or associate with others who do.

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LoseItToMe
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Postby LoseItToMe » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:08 pm

Anyone aspiring to enforce the law shouldn't break it...or associate with others who do.



socko, please get the fu** out of here.... you detained son of a bitch.

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kevsocko
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Postby kevsocko » Thu Dec 27, 2007 7:35 pm

Saying that they are corrupt just screams of blaming someone else for YOUR mistake and/or saying that their mistake mitigates yours.



Sir, i have respect for officers.
In this case, lets just say an illegal substance magically appeared and they arrested me for it. I'm not going to sit here and say I've never experimented with drugs, but the bag in question was absolutely not mine. I even volunteered for a urine test at the scene to prove I hadn't used any. They gave it to me, but once I passed it, they pretended like it never happened. That fits my definition of corrupt.

i find it strange that i received a letter that explicitly said "you were never under arrest." as you said, my friends and I talked about how it sure felt like we were under arrest. that's why I found it silly.


So, have you disclosed everytime you've been pulled over or detained? Oh, wait, I forgot, cops can drive as fast as they want, drive drunk, get in fights, and it doesn't matter, because their fellow cops would never write them a ticket or arrest them. :roll:

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corcop
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Postby corcop » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:26 am

I would agree it does sound as if you were under arrest. I also agree that the follow-up letter doesn't make sense. I'm not certain as to the laws in your state, so I won't pretend to be an expert on that.

I will say this...in the state where I work, if any illegal substance is found in lets say, a car, everyone in the car CAN be charged with it. If no one admits ownership/possession, the law allows police officers to charge everyone in the vehicle with possession. This is not the case in ALL states, but under that scenario, I can see reason for your detention or even arrest. And yes, someone can be "un-arrested", if the officer later decided to believe your story, someone else claimed ownership, or if they just chose not to charge you. OTOH, maybe they just realized they had no PC for your arrest, and let you go. I wasn't there, so I can't speak on it. Just going through hypotheticals. Yet and still, just because they let you go and didn't charge you, still doesn't make them anywhere near corrupt, based solely on what you've said so far.

And in the interest of my own full disclosure, yes I have been detained by the police. Even though it wasn't for drugs, it was for alcohol. I fully disclosed that on every app I sent in, just the same as when I applied to be a police officer. Everyone was young and foolish once, even admissions council members. They understand. Also, I fully assure you sir, I have personally seen police officers being arrested, taken away in handcuffs, and booked into jail. Happened to an agency near mine just a few weeks ago. Quite contrary to most people's sadly mistaken beliefs, when a police officer breaks the law they usually receive worse treatment, not preferential treatment. This comes from the belief that a police officer should "know better".

And one of my co-workers was being made fun of all night on my last shift because he got a speeding ticket from another officer in a nearby town. So sorry to inform you that you're dead wrong about cops getting away with things because they are cops.

Yet again, I'm not pointing fingers at you or saying that you're totally receive up. Just giving you my advice from the way I see it.

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kevsocko
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Postby kevsocko » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:45 am

i've been in cars with police officers when they have been pulled over. they show them their badge, and they get let off. no point in arguing,

but this has become a digression, a waste, and the thread should be closed.

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brokendowncar
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Postby brokendowncar » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:40 pm

So sorry to inform you that you're dead wrong about cops getting away with things because they are cops.

I would say cops definitely get away with things. I have a police officer in my family, and that alone has been enough to get me out of a few tickets. Not to say cops are untouchable, but they do get out of some stuff from time to time.

aberman
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Postby aberman » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:35 pm

The difference between the two does not matter: disclose, disclose, disclose.

99% chance it will have absolutely no impact on your admission chances either way.

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playhero
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Postby playhero » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:50 pm

You don't need to disclose detention. Police can detainee you for anything they want. When you are arrested it is because they suspect you have committed a crime. When you are detained you just can't go anywhere. When you are arrested you have hand cuffs on you and they have read you your rights.

As for the letter they were probably trying to cover there butts legally and get away with their mistake. In most states you can only be detained for a very limited time frame. In Californian I believe it is 45 minutes. After that they must arrest you or let you go.

The Agitator
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Postby The Agitator » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:59 pm

You don't need to disclose detention.


Some apps specifically ask if you were ever detained.

gclemen1
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Postby gclemen1 » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:04 pm

If you had to post bond and see a judge, it really sounds like an arrest..police can detain you for a certain amount of time, and if they don't formally charge you, they have to let you go w/ no bond!

The Agitator
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Postby The Agitator » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:14 pm

I would only disclose this on applications where they ask if you were detained. You can't be at fault if the police department tells you that you were never arrested.

People here will shriek "But the Bar! Character & Fitness!" Don't worry about that. There is no way this will be an issue if the police department which "arrested" you told you that you weren't arrested, only detained.

The Agitator
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Postby The Agitator » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:16 pm

Remember you aren't a lawyer yet - you're not expected to know the technical difference between an arrest and detention, and if the PD itself tells you it wasn't an arrest, even if it was, you are well into the realm of plausible deniability.

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kevsocko
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Postby kevsocko » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:37 pm

cops are shady shady characters!




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