Laws Regarding Apprehension
The person making an apprehension must have a reasonable belief
An offense under the UCM has been committed.
The person to be apprehended committed it.
"Reasonable belief" is defined as the evidence necessary to convince an average
person that an offense has been committed by the person alleged to have committed
This belief must be more than mere "suspicion." However, it need not be as
much as would be required for conviction. Any verification of information given by
others strengthens the basis for apprehension and reasonable belief.
Use of Detention.
Detention for questioning, although not provided for in the
UCMJ, is a proper and legal procedure which has been upheld by both military and
civilian courts. Detention for limited questioning is also not provided for in the
It is, however, a proper and legal procedure if based on a reasonable
suspicion that criminal activity is about to take place.
Use of Force.
The general rule for using force is that only reasonable and
necessary force may be used. During the apprehension of a suspected violator, the
use of force may be required to maintain control.
However, use only the minimum
force necessary to maintain control and prevent escape or injury of the suspect.
The degrees of force are presented as a hierarchy in Figure 2-10.
As an MP officer, the types of force that you need to be most familiar with are--
The use of the MP club.
The use of hand irons.
The use of deadly force.
Laws Regarding Searches
Authority for Searches.
Commanders may authorize searches of all persons and
places under their control. The commander must have probable cause to believe that
the items subject to seizure are on the person or in the place to be searched.
Written records pertaining to search and seizure should be maintained by military
police. The probable cause to search a person or place and the items to be seized
should be documented.