An arrest occurs when the police have reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been or is about to be committed. Upon arrest, police take a person into custody and may charge them with a criminal offence. Not every person charged with a criminal offence will be arrested. The police may require a person to appear in court by either serving them an appearance notice at the scene of the crime or, at a later time, serving them with a summons.

Sometimes accused persons are kept in jail until they can appear in court. This might occur if, for example:

  • it is not in the public’s interest that the person be released;
  • the police are not certain of the identity of the accused;
  • in order to preserve evidence of the offence or related to the offence;
  • in order to prevent the continuation of the offence or another offence; or
  • there is concern that the accused will not appear in court as required.
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