Difference Between Detained and Arrested

September 13, 2018 Criminal Defense detained vs arrested

difference between detained and arrested

Detained vs. Arrested

If I am detained does that mean I am arrested?

It depends. Detained does not mean arrested.  In Florida, knowing whether you are arrested or just being detained is a question that has significant implications. Among other consequences, implications can impact speedy trial rights and Miranda rights.  The right in Florida to a speedy trial is triggered only “(1) when the person is arrested as a result of the conduct or criminal episode that gave rise to the crime charged or (2) when the person is served with a notice to appear in lieu of physical arrest.” Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.191(d). Davis v. State, No. 5D17-745, 2018 WL 4169333,  (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

The Melton analysis to determine arrest controls on the issue of detained vs. arrested in Florida.  As announced last week in the 5th DCA’s opinion in Davis v. State, all four elements of the Melton analysis must be present in order to make a determination of arrested or not. 

What is an Arrest in Florida?

In the Melton case,”the Florida Supreme Court defined an arrest as follows:

It is uniformly held that an arrest, in the technical and restricted sense of the criminal law, is “the apprehension or taking into custody of an alleged offender, in order that he [or she] may be brought into the proper court to answer for a crime.” When used in this sense, an arrest involves the following elements: (1) A purpose or intention to effect an arrest under a real or pretended authority; (2) An actual or constructive seizure or detention of the person to be arrested by a person having present power to control the person arrested; (3) A communication by the arresting officer to the person whose arrest is sought, of an intention or purpose then and there to effect an arrest; and (4) An understanding by the person whose arrest is sought that it is the intention of the arresting officer then and there to arrest and detain him.

Melton, 75 So.2d at 294 4 All four Melton elements must be present to conclude that an arrest has occurred. Brown v. State, 623 So.2d 800, 802 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993).” Davis v. State, No. 5D17-745, 2018 WL 4169333, at *3 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2018).

Depending on the specific facts of the case, it is possible for a person to be detained thereby invoking Fourth Amendment protections and not be arrested for purposes of the Sixth Amendment right to Speedy Trial.

If you are arrested, it is imperative to contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Please contact our office or call 850-681-7777 if you or a loved one are in need of a criminal defense lawyer.