Generally, the police can only place a person under arrest when they have a warrant for the arrest of that person.
A warrant for arrest is issued by a Magistrate’s Court or by a Justice of the Peace. There are specific cases, however, when the law allows the police to arrest a suspect even without a warrant for his arrest having first been issued by a Magistrate or Justice of the Peace.
In Queensland, when a police officer has a reasonable belief or suspicion that a person is committing a criminal offence or that a person has just committed a criminal offence, he can place that person under arrest even without a warrant of arrest issued by a court.
When a police officer places a person under arrest without a warrant being first issued by the court, the police officer actually prevents the continuation or repetition of the criminal act of offence.
The arrest can also prevent the loss or destruction of the evidence of the crime; and it can prevent evidence from being fabricated by the suspect. By placing the suspect under arrest, the police can establish and verify the arrested person’s identity. After the police officer arrests the person, the police must produce the arrested person before the court.
By placing the suspect immediately under arrest (even without a warrant for his arrest), the police are actually preventing the arrested person from obstructing the police in fulfilling their duties. The arrest of a suspect ensures the physical safety of the suspect. He may be protected from harassment from relatives or friends of the victim of the crime who may be thinking of retaliating for the crime allegedly committed by him. Then again, when the suspect is arrested, it will prevent him escaping or fleeing the scene of the crime.
The police can also immediately arrest a person when they observe him committing an assault. The police may also arrest a person against whom a domestic violence order has already been issued. For instance, when a husband who is accused of having assaulted his wife has been ordered by the court not to make any contact with the wife, the police may arrest the husband as soon as he violates the order of the court preventing him having any contact with his estranged wife.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.