Do the Police need a Court warrant to arrest you?

by 8 April 2021Criminal Defence, FAQ

Do the Police need a Court warrant to arrest you?

Depending on the type of criminal offence involved, the Police can arrest you with or without getting a Court-issued warrant to detain you for investigations or to produce you in Court to be formally charged for a criminal offence.

If the Police do not have a Court Warrant, they can only arrest you when they have a reasonable suspicion that you’ve committed an arrestable offence.

Examples of arrestable offences (which is found in the Criminal Procedure Code) include:

  • Theft, Cheating and Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT)
  • Criminal intimidation and criminal trespass
  • Dishonestly receiving or retaining stolen property
  • Robbery, unlawful assembly & rioting
  • Voluntarily causing grievous hurt, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means
  • Sexual assault by penetration without consent (including oral or anal sex), commercial sex with minor under 18 years of age, doing an obscene act in a public place
  • Drug trafficking, possession or consumption
  • Offences under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act
  • Assault or use of criminal make to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty

For non-arrestable offences, the Police will typically need to get a Court Warrant before they can effect an arrest.

About the author

About the author

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan is the Founder and Managing Director of Tembusu Law. He is also the founder of LawGuide Singapore, a prominent legaltech startup which successfully created and launched Singapore’s first legal chatbot in 2017.


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