I saw a high-profile case where this happened today and wondered about it.

I understand there probably will (and probably should) be some leeway in this, but if one was arrested for breach of the peace, which under English common law does not require an arrest warrant, could that then be dropped and replaced with another charge that would've required an arrest warrant?

Or, if there is some leeway to do this, can it be challenged? It seems to be, shall we say, convenient that the police are using a power that is given for situations of immediate need in a way that could be said to circumvent the system somewhat.

I've had another look through the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and through the codes of practice for PACE but haven't found anything referring to this.

  • Let's say the police arrests you for speeding and then discover a dead body in your car. Do you think you cannot be charged with murder?
    – gnasher729
    May 26 '18 at 7:32
  • @gnasher729 “I understand there probably will (and probably should) be some leeway in this”. Also, are the police going to use the ability to arrest you for speeding - which you aren't - and then drop it in order to look in your boot?
    – iain
    May 26 '18 at 15:41

If you read the first link, every offense can lead to arrest without a warrant.

Notwithstanding, you don’t have to be arrested to be charged and vice -versa.

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