An arrest is the taking of a person into custody in the manner authorized by law and may be made by a peace officer (cop) or a private person. When probable cause exists, an officer may arrest you. This can be done through a previously obtained arrest warrant, right after the alleged crime occurred, and in some cases, when the officer believes a crime is about to occur. Upon arrest, the police are required by law to read you your rights (Miranda). Your Miranda rights include the right to remain silent. EXERCISE THIS RIGHT and be quiet! Anything you say, even if you do not believe it is incriminating, can and will be used against you!
Once a person is arrested, the police will conduct a search for contraband to secure officer safety and to create an inventory of items so things do not go missing. If you were arrested without a warrant and were not released on bail, you should be brought before a magistrate within 48 hours for the judge to determine if there was probable cause and if the bail amount is appropriate. After this, the prosecution must file a criminal complaint.
A criminal complaint is the document listing the charges, the alleged victim, the date the alleged crime occurred, the location of the alleged crime, and the court presiding over the matter.