Difference Wiki

Arrested vs. Detained: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sara Rehman || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 17, 2023
Arrested refers to being formally charged with a crime and taken into custody; detained means being held temporarily for questioning or investigation.

Key Differences

Being arrested involves a legal process where an individual is formally charged with a crime and taken into police custody. This action typically follows evidence or suspicion of a criminal act. Detention, however, does not always imply a crime; individuals can be detained for questioning or further investigation without formal charges.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023
An arrested person often faces immediate legal consequences and may be taken to a police station or jail. This process usually leads to formal legal proceedings. In contrast, someone detained might be held temporarily, often at the scene, for clarification or safety reasons, without progressing to arrest.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023
The rights of an arrested individual include formal charges and access to legal representation. Arrests are often documented and follow strict legal procedures. Detainment, on the other hand, is more flexible and may not always require legal counsel or formal charges.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023
Arrest usually signifies a more serious implication for the individual, potentially leading to a trial or sentencing. Detention can be a precautionary measure, used to prevent potential harm or to ascertain details before deciding on an arrest.
Harlon Moss
Dec 17, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

Formally charged and taken into custody
Temporarily held for questioning or investigation
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023
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Legal Consequences

Leads to legal proceedings, possible trial
May not lead to formal charges or legal proceedings
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Duration

Potentially longer, until trial or release
Usually short-term, often at the scene
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Rights Involved

Right to legal representation, formal charges
May not always require legal counsel
Aimie Carlson
Dec 17, 2023

Implication Severity

More serious, indicating likelihood of a criminal act
Less severe, often precautionary or investigative
Aimie Carlson
Dec 17, 2023

Arrested and Detained Definitions

Arrested

Being arrested involves a law enforcement officer detaining a person under legal authority.
She was arrested at her home by local police.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023
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Detained

Detained means being temporarily held by authorities for questioning.
He was detained at the airport for additional security checks.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Arrested

Arrested implies that the individual will face legal action or a trial.
After being arrested, he awaited his court hearing.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 02, 2023

Detained

Detained refers to a short-term hold, often for investigation or safety reasons.
The witness was detained for further questioning.
Sara Rehman
Dec 02, 2023

Arrested

Arrested denotes the formal process of charging an individual with a criminal offense.
The suspect was arrested and charged with fraud.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Detained

Being detained does not necessarily lead to arrest or criminal charges.
She was detained during the protest but later released without charges.
Harlon Moss
Dec 02, 2023

Arrested

Arrested refers to being legally taken into custody for a suspected crime.
He was arrested for suspected robbery last night.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Detained

Detained involves a temporary restriction of an individual's freedom for specific purposes.
The suspect was detained at the scene for questioning.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 02, 2023

Arrested

Arrested includes the process of recording the individual’s details and the alleged offense.
Following his arrest, his fingerprints were taken.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Detained

Detainment can occur in various settings, such as at borders or during police operations.
Travelers were detained for routine immigration checks.
Janet White
Dec 02, 2023

Arrested

To stop; check
A brake that automatically arrests motion.
Arrested the growth of the tumor.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Detained

To keep from proceeding; delay or retard
Our friends were detained by heavy traffic.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Detained

To keep in custody or confinement
The police detained several suspects for questioning.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Detained

(Archaic) To retain or withhold (payment or property, for example).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Detained

Simple past tense and past participle of detain
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

Does being arrested mean you're guilty?

No, guilt is determined through legal proceedings.
Harlon Moss
Dec 17, 2023

Are arrests public record?

Yes, arrests are typically documented and part of public record.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

What is the usual outcome of an arrest?

It often leads to legal proceedings or a trial.
Harlon Moss
Dec 17, 2023

Can an arrested person request a lawyer?

Yes, they have the right to legal representation.
Sara Rehman
Dec 17, 2023

What legally happens when someone is arrested?

They are formally charged and taken into custody for a suspected crime.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

What is the primary purpose of detaining someone?

It's for questioning or investigation, often temporarily.
Janet White
Dec 17, 2023

How long can someone be detained?

Duration varies, but it's generally for a short period.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Can you be detained without being arrested?

Yes, detainment doesn’t always lead to an arrest.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 17, 2023

Are detained individuals charged with a crime?

Not necessarily; detainment can be for investigation without charges.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Do detainees have rights?

Yes, but they differ from the rights of the arrested.
Janet White
Dec 17, 2023

Can minors be arrested?

Yes, minors can be arrested, but the process often involves juvenile justice systems.
Harlon Moss
Dec 17, 2023

What happens after an arrest?

The individual is booked, and a court date is usually set.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Can an arrest lead to immediate imprisonment?

Not directly; imprisonment can only follow a legal trial and conviction.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023

Is a warrant always required for an arrest?

Not always, especially in cases of in-flagrante crimes.
Harlon Moss
Dec 17, 2023

Can someone be detained for no reason?

Law enforcement needs a valid reason, although it may not be immediately apparent.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 17, 2023

What should one do if wrongfully detained?

It's advisable to comply and then seek legal assistance.
Harlon Moss
Dec 17, 2023

Are detained individuals fingerprinted?

Not always, unlike during an arrest where fingerprinting is common.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 17, 2023

Do police need to read rights during an arrest?

Yes, in many jurisdictions, Miranda rights are read at the time of arrest.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 17, 2023

Is detainment a common border procedure?

Yes, detainment for checks is common at borders.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 17, 2023

Can detainees contact someone?

This varies, but generally, they should be allowed to contact someone for assistance.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 17, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.

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