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What constitutes an arrest?

  • Written by Staff
  • Category: FAQ

Readers may find names of individuals listed in our police reports showing an "arrest" when the individuals were never formally brought to the police station, finger printed, etc., but issued a Municipal Ticket (M-Ticket), or even a traffic ticket. 

Park Forest Police Chief Tom Fleming provided clarification on this question at a Saturday Rules meeting on May 19, 2007.  According to Chief Fleming, “A traffic ticket is an arrest. If you get stopped and you’re issued a traffic citation, that’s technically a traffic arrest. A citation, like our M-Ticket, is an arrest. You basically are not free to go until you get your paperwork for us to let you go. That’s an arrest. You’re being detained for us to complete that paperwork.”

If charges are dropped in court or before a court hearing, that does not change the circumstances surrounding the issuance of a ticket or citation, an arrest.   "The charge can be dropped when it gets to court for a lot of different reasons," Fleming says, "The disposition of the case does not change what happened at the beginning of it."

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