Can You Be Detained Without Being Told Why?

Like many other states, Indiana has established laws that permit the detention of individuals under specific conditions. A common question is whether you can be detained by police in Indiana without being informed of the reasons.

The short answer is yes, but you can only be detained for so long without being charged. If you are taken into custody at a police station in Indiana, the law mandates that you must be charged with a crime within 48 to 72 hours or released.

Verdelski Miller is an Evansville criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of experience. Contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation if you have been accused of a crime.

What Happens If You Are Detained?

Being detained by the police implies a temporary hold in police custody. This period, often referred to as an “investigative detention,” allows the officer to conduct a brief investigation to determine if the suspect is involved in any criminal activity. During this time, the suspect is not free to leave and may be handcuffed for the officer’s safety and frisked for weapons.

The Legal Grounds for Police Detainment

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can temporarily detain individuals if they have a “reasonable suspicion” of the individual’s involvement in a crime. This standard is less stringent than “probable cause,” which is typically required for an arrest. However, the detainment is only legal if it meets the constitutionally mandated standards.

How Long Can You Be Detained by Police?

Investigative detention can last from a few seconds to over an hour. However, it must be temporary and should not exceed the time necessary to fulfill the purpose of the stop. In other words, the duration of the detention should be reasonably related to the officers’ investigation. Detentions rarely exceed an hour.

If you are taken into custody at a police station in Indiana, the law mandates that you must be charged with a crime within 48 to 72 hours. This means you should either be released or presented before a judge within this timeframe.

Addressing Police Misconduct

While police officers are granted extensive powers to perform their duties, they are not immune to accountability. Police misconduct can manifest in various forms such as unlawful search and seizure, false arrest, or use of excessive force. It’s important to note that an officer is allowed to use reasonable force if a suspect resists arrest.

the police can detain you for reasonable suspicion

What Is Emergency Detention in Indiana?

In Indiana, a police officer may transport a person to an appropriate facility if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person is mentally ill, either dangerous or severely disabled, and needs immediate hospitalization and treatment. The individual may be examined and given emergency treatment necessary to preserve their health and safety, and to protect other persons and property.

A person can be held in a facility for up to 72 hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays, if the facility submits a written application to the court. If the court approves the application for detention, the person may be held for up to 14 days.

If the superintendent or attending physician determines during the detention period that there is no probable cause to believe the individual is mentally ill and either dangerous or gravely disabled, a report must be made. This acts as a safeguard against unnecessary or unjust detentions.

Recent Amendments to the Law

The Indiana Legislature recently passed House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1006, which was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb. Effective July 1, 2023, this legislation introduces significant changes to the Indiana law governing emergency mental health detentions.

Under the new law, healthcare facilities must submit an application for emergency detention to the local court within 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of admission. This is a reduction from the previous 72-hour requirement.

Additionally, the definitions of “mental illness” and “mentally ill” have been expanded to include “temporary impairment as a result of alcohol or drug use.” This supplements the previous definition, which encompassed alcoholism and addiction to narcotics or dangerous drugs.

The Rights of Detained Individuals in the U.S.

Detained individuals in the U.S., including Indiana, retain all of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, except for those lawful limitations caused by incarceration. They have the right to defend themselves or to have legal counsel as prescribed by law. They also have the right to receive prompt and full communication of any order of detention, together with the reasons for it.

Call an Evansville Criminal Defense Lawyer Today 

While you can be detained by police in Indiana without being told why, the law imposes strict requirements for temporary detention. If you are held at a police station in Indiana, the police are required to charge you or release you within 48 to 72 hours.

Don’t wait to call a criminal defense lawyer in Evansville who can protect your rights. Contact Verdelski Miller today at 812-425-9170 for a free case evaluation.

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