Arrest Without Warrant

Last updated on Jun 22, 2022

There are certain crimes for which the police can arrest you without a warrant. Such crimes are known in law as cognizable offences. These crimes are usually of serious nature such as rape, murder, assault etc 

If any of these scenarios apply to you, then the police do not need the warrant to arrest you:

  • When you commit a crime in front of a police officer (for example at a public event or in a police station);
  • When the police have received reliable information or a complaint that you have committed a cognizable crime;
  • If the court has declared you as a proclaimed offender;
  • If the police found you with stolen property and they suspect that you stole it;
  • If you cause trouble to a police officer who is performing his duty;
  • If you escape from custody of the police or jail;
  • If you are suspected of deserting the army;
  • If you are a suspect in a crime outside India and you are liable to be brought back to India; or
  • If you were convicted of a crime in the past and have violated the conditions of your release.

The possibility of being arrested is much lesser if you have been accused of a cognizable crime with a jail time of fewer than seven years. The police should have reliable information which points to your involvement. Further, you can be arrested only if:

  • you are likely to escape, destroy evidence, or influence the victim or witnesses,
  • you are likely to commit yet another crime, or
  • if your presence is necessary for police investigation.

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