The Law Process Of A Stealing Charge

1739 words - 7 pages

The Purpose of the paper is to outline the criminal justice process that would apply to a person who is being charged with stealing. The paper will explain how the process affects the person charged and also give an overview of the various levels of courts that might apply to the offense.1. Police powers of search and seizure:Who can arrest a person and why?A police officer can arrest someone if:•they suspect on reasonable grounds that they have committed an offence; and•a warrant (written authority) for their arrest has been issued by a court; and•they have committed or are about to commit an offence.A private citizen can arrest someone (citizens arrest) where a person has committed or is in the act of committing a crime.How should the police arrest a person?The police should:•place their hands on the offender and tell them that they are under arrest:; and•tell the offender why they are being arrested.•caution you, before questioning, that no questions need be answered but that any answer given may be used in evidence.Can the police use force to arrest a person?A police officer may use as much force as is reasonably necessary to arrest someone. Unreasonable force is assault. After arrest, a police officer may handcuff someone if they attempt to escape or the officer considers it necessary to prevent them from escaping. A judge or magistrate will decide whether or not the force used was reasonable in the circumstances.What happens if a person resists arrest?It is an offense to resist arrest. Active resistance is required for a charge of resisting arrest to be laid. Lying down and refusing to co-operate is not resisting arrest. Police may arrest someone if they reasonably believe they have committed an offence, even if they are completely innocent. If some one resists arrest, they are committing an offence with which they may be charged, even if the police do not charge them with any other offence.Can a person be arrested for questioning?No. Police can request someone to accompany them to a police station for questioning but they are not required to go unless they have been arrested for an offence.What should a person do when arrested?They should ask the police arresting you for a lawyer. They have the right to have a lawyer present while you are being questioned to give you advice. There is no legal aid for lawyers to attend police stations to advise someone during questioning.How long does a person have to stay in custody?Following arrest, the police may detain you for an initial period of up to four hours to conduct investigations; an application can be made to allow an extension of up to a further eight hours.2. Types of crimes:There are 3 main types of crimes. These are:•a crime against property,•a crime against a person, and•a crime against the state.Stealing is a crime against a person as it is stealing a persons belongings.3. Rights of the accused:If arrested and taken into custody by the police...

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