Detention of a suspect Law and Legal Definition

Detention of a suspect means to keep an arrested person in police custody. A person detained is usually kept in police cell, prison or other detention centre. This is mostly applied in cases of person facing trial or sentencing. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects a person from being held in prison unlawfully.

Detention of a suspect occurs mainly for the following reasons:

1. the suspect has been accused of carrying out a particularly serious offence;

2. the suspect having previous convictions for similar offences;

3. there are reasons to believe that the suspect could leave the court's jurisdiction to avoid its trial and possible punishment;

4. there are reasons to believe that the suspect may destroy evidence or interfere with witnesses;

5. the suspect is likely to commit further offences before the trial; and

6. the suspect is believed to be in danger from accomplices, victims, or vigilantes.