Skip to content


Definition of Arresto

Action to legally deprive an individual of liberty under all the guidelines and rights established by the laws of the country or place where he lives or even illegally.

Determination or drive that a person puts in to take action, especially when it is an arduous or strenuous task. For example: María tuvo el arresto de terminarle a Juancho” (María had the arrest of finishing up Juancho).


  1. Stop
  2. Capture
  3. Deprive of freedom


  1. Break free
  2. Release
  3. Let it free


Arresto in its verbal and substantive sense comes from the Latin terms ad and restarewhich mean successively “to” and “to stay”. In this context, its literal meaning is “to make to stay” or to retain someone. Then, the noun is born from the participle of this same meaning.

The arresto is the result you must pay an individual for committing a crime, police and judicial authorities are the only empowered to rule or make an arrest.

If the individual resists arrest, the police may use force to the point of immobilization. After the arrest, they are placed at the orders of the State under the conditions dictated by law.


Once arrested, everyone enjoys universal minimum rights that are adjusted to the country or place where they are arrested. Some of the best known are “right to silence” and “right to a lawyer”.

In the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other similar documents, each of the rights of detainees are supported by law.