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What Is the Meaning of Apprehension in Law?

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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When the police attempt to apprehend offenders and bring them to justice, they use the term apprehend. When you grasp or capture the meaning of a concept, you also apprehend it. In law, apprehension of an attack is defined as a component of self-defense. 

For the purposes of this article, more definitions of apprehension and the leading legal definition were provided by a team of Schmidt & Clark attorneys. Our attorneys have been handling apprehension lawsuits and cases across the United States for many years.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • The origin of the word “apprehend” stems from the Latin language and it preserved its meaning till today. It is a very common term in the law dictionary and its definition is usually referring to capturing or arresting.
  • On a criminal warrant, the one with authority uses apprehension, and in legal actions, an arrest is used. 
  • If police apprehended your loved one or you, you should immediately call a personal lawyer.

Law Dictionary and the Origin of the Word 

The verb apprehend has remained mostly unchanged in both form and meaning since its Latin origins. It derives from the Latin “apprehended”, which means “to grab, lay hold or seize.” Around the 1540s, the phrase began to signify “to seize in the name of the law” or “arrest” and that meaning has remained consistent since then.

A judge reading out from a bookA legal definition of apprehension can be related to a person accused of committing a crime, in a manner that such person is apprehended and arrested. Taking someone into custody is referred to as apprehension.

Synonyms of apprehend are capture, imprison, detain, arrest, or it could be to perceive, comprehend, realize, or grasp depending on the context. 

An apprehension of attack is a component of self-defense that can be designed and implemented in cases that are criminal and involve assault and battery, manslaughter, or murder. An individual who behaves in fear of being attacked is not at risk of being hurt. There must be a reasonable likelihood of actual injury for the individual to take protective measures.

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Examples of use 

Apprehension is applied in criminal cases and arrest in legal actions. The act of apprehending somebody who is criminally responsible is known as apprehension. 

An example of apprehension is the seizure and detention of a suspected murderer. Also, for example, a person with power can be arrested in civil cases, but not in cases that are criminal. 

Arrests, detentions, and apprehensions may only be carried out in strict accordance with the law and by standards and quality by officials authorized to do so. Apprehending, detaining, and transporting to and from court or prison are all examples of apprehension.

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Apprehension in Criminal Cases

A person's wrist in handcuffsAs we previously stated, apprehension is used in criminal instances. Criminal and civil cases are not the same. The U.S. attorney or a prosecutor and the grand jury are the main players at the start of a federal criminal case. 

The grand jury considers the evidence given by the US Attorney and determines whether it is adequate to hold a defendant accountable.

A criminal case is a kind of court proceeding in which the accused is tried for conduct that the state’s legislature, or the government, considers to be against the law.

“The victim must have a reasonable apprehension of imminent injury or offensive contact. This element is established if the act would produce apprehension in the mind of a reasonable person.” – FindLaw


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What exactly does it mean to apprehend offenders?

To apprehend offenders means to attempt to and bring offenders to justice. In this situation police use the word apprehend.

What does the term “request to apprehend” imply?

The term “request to apprehend” implies that the police carried out a legal warrant for your arrest.

What constitutes a reasonable apprehension?

A reasonable apprehension constitutes a fear that is justified under the circumstances, as judged by the subjective standard of the “reasonable man”.

Are there different models of apprehension? 

Yes, there are different models of apprehension including a model of the apprehension of war criminals that is thoroughly analyzed, described, and studied.

James Meernik created a model of war criminal apprehension based on international players’ conduct in order to change the cost/benefit calculus of suspected war criminals and their sympathizers, making them more susceptible to arrest or more likely to surrender [1].

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Schmidt & Clark, LLP is an experienced team of attorneys who specialize in representing clients in various cases. We are now accepting new claims in all 50 states and are managing individual lawsuits nationally.

If police apprehended your loved one or you, you should immediately call a personal lawyer. By bringing a case, you may be entitled to a settlement, and an experienced attorney can support you.



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