An arrest in Minnesota is wholly different from detainment, but sometimes the two can feel like the same thing. Understanding the differences between the two can help if you find yourself facing either situation.

When Law Enforcement Detains You in Minnesota

If an officer stops you, whether on foot or in a car, then that officer is detaining you. During detainment, you’re not technically free to go. The officer will use this time to ask you questions or investigate a suspicion further. Some important facts to remember about detainment include:

  • Detainment is not an arrest
  • Law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to detain someone
  • Detainment should typically not last more than half an hour
  • You do not have to answer any questions unless you want to

Detainment isn’t always cut-and-dry. For example, the reasonable suspicion an officer needs to detain you can consist of nothing more than a hunch in practice.

The length of time an officer can detain you can last from a minute to several hours depending on the reason for the detainment.

If in doubt, you can blatantly ask if you’re being detained. If the answer is no, then you’re free to go. If the answer is yes, then stay and hear the officer out. Remember, the officer is likely trying to do some good, and you can help. You should never say anything to incriminate yourself for any reason.

As the officer is attempting to investigate, you can say or do something that gives the officer probable cause to turn your detainment into an arrest. If your arrest starts as a detainment, then you should try to remember every detail.

For example, in a best-case scenario, if the officer had no reasonable suspicion or cause to detain you, it can invalidate the arrest itself. Or, if the officer never officially arrested you after detaining you, then that can help your defense.

When Law Enforcement Arrests You in Minnesota

An arrest involves the restriction of your movement through handcuffs and the arresting officers will physically move you to another location, such as a precinct. Usually, you will know whether you’re under arrest or not. The officer will typically tell you, but you can ask if you’re under arrest for confirmation.

On occasion, an officer will detain someone, but with force or handcuffs. Such situations aren’t always arrests. An officer can employ handcuffs or other forms of restraint if they have a reasonable suspicion you can or will become a safety concern.

When Detainment Turns Into an Arrest in Minnesota

If law enforcement suspects you of a crime, then they can use detainment as a way to collect more information so that they can arrest you. You might not even see the arrest coming.

Typically, an arrest without a warrant can lead to 36 or 48 hours of holding before you’re released or allowed to see a judge. Maintain your diligence at all times when dealing with law enforcement.

Knowing the laws can help, but no matter the situation, comply with the reasonable wishes of law enforcement. Sometimes it’s necessary to comply these requests just to avoid any escalation of the issue.

You will have your day in court and can deal with your treatment by law enforcement in front of the judge. Just remember as many details of the situation as possible, and get in contact with a defense lawyer as soon as possible.

A defense attorney can help you determine if an officer violated your rights. Your attorney can also give you advice and representation after an arrest. At the Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, P.A., we can help you defend your name. If you have questions about your stop or arrest, then contact us immediately.