When are you under arrest?
You know, the easy answer is when the cuffs get slapped on you, then you’re under arrest. But it’s not that simple at all. When the police restrain your freedom, when you’re not free to leave, you are under arrest. That triggers all sorts of constitutional rights of protections. So, the facts, the details, the timing of your confrontation with the police or federal law enforcement agency is absolutely critical. Your criminal defense attorney will discuss it with you and find out. For example, a police officer tells you “Go sit in my police car.” Are you under arrest? Well, are you free to leave if you get out of that police car and walk away? Are you free to do so? Or if you’re on the side of the street and the police officer says, “You stand right there. You sit down on the sidewalk.”
These are all issues that need to be discussed with your criminal defense lawyer so that all your rights are protected. Not just in a theoretical sense, but in a practical way. Because, depending on when you are arrested certain evidence can be admitted against you and certain evidence can be kept out.