Homepage

Innocent Until Proven Guilty.

We’re here to provide emotional and practical support for defendants.
Scroll

Disclaimer.

Our website contains information based on English and Welsh law. Although ‘The Defendant’ endeavours to ensure that the content is accurate and up to date, users should seek appropriate legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action based on the content of this website or otherwise.

The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. If you require specific legal advice you should contact a specialist lawyer.

Select a stage

Stage 01

Investigation

Stage 02

Charged

Stage 03

Trial

Select a section

Back to stage selection
Investigation

I

Voluntary Interview

II

Arrest

III

Bail/Remand

IV

Police Investigation

VI

Support

VII

Decision

Charged

II

Rights

III

Bail/Remand

IV

Support

V

Gathering of Evidence

VI

Disclosure

VII

Plea Trial

VIII

Work/Education Impact

Trial

I

Roles in a Courtroom

II

Standard Process

III

Rights

IV

Presentation of Evidence

V

Cross-examination

VI

Decision

VII

Sentencing

VIII

Appeal

Select A Group

Back to section selection

Mental Impairment

Under 18

Over 18

Here’s the Info

Back to Group Selection
Voluntary Interview – What are voluntary interviews?

A voluntary interview is an interview requested by the police in order to assist them with an investigation, and importantly your attendance is not mandatory and requires your consent.

But the seriousness of the interview should not be overlooked simply due to its voluntary nature. During the interview you are under caution, and the interview itself is recorded and can be used as evidence in any criminal proceedings, in the situation where a decision is made to arrest you.

Voluntary Interview – What are the differences from arrest?

It is important to establish that a voluntary interview is not an arrest. They are more informal compared to the standard interviews in arrests. The police turn in favour of a voluntary interview with you if, they either do not think it is necessary to arrest you at the time, or they do not have sufficient evidence to do so.

Voluntary Interview – Why should you attend a voluntary interview?

A benefit of attending a voluntary interview is the ability to gain control over the situation. As with an interview after arrest, you would be able to consult with your solicitor, prior to the interview. And since the interview would be by appointment at a time convenient to you this would allow you more time to organise your answers, as opposed to being arrested suddenly and being underprepared for any questions asked.

Voluntary Interview – What happens if you do not attend?

If you choose not to attend your voluntary interview, you become at risk of being arrested if the police have enough evidence to do so. Therefore, it is in your best interest to attend the voluntary interview.

Voluntary Interview – What are your rights?

Prior and during your voluntary interview, you are entitled to a free solicitor to receive advice from and to be present at the interview. If you opt for a solicitor, you must communicate this to the police interviewer, who must allow you the opportunity to speak to your solicitor before interviewing you. Though a solicitor is optional, it is highly recommended as any information disclosed during the interview can be used in court against you. If you seek a solicitor, your appropriate adult can ask for one on your behalf.

Vulnerable people have the right to be assisted by an adult. This person is called your ”appropriate adult.” Your appropriate adult must be with you during the stages when the police officer informs you of your rights, as well as when the police caution is read and the officer asks you if you consent to be interviewed. You have the right to speak to your solicitor without the presence of your appropriate adult.

Your appropriate adult must also be present, if available, during the final stages of the police charging or reporting you for an offence.

You are also entitled to a right of silence, which will be communicated to you at the beginning of the interview by the police. Though, if you choose not to answer questions, it may harm your defence.

Additional rights include:

  • Right to leave during the voluntary interview at any time
  • Free right to an interpreter and to have documents translated
  • Free right to contact your embassy for advice if you are not a British National
  • Right to look at the Codes of Practice – which is a list of rules that the police will comply with during the interview
  • Right to know which offence you are thought to have committed and why the police want to interview you
Voluntary Interview – What are voluntary interviews?

A voluntary interview is an interview requested by the police in order to assist them with an investigation, and importantly your attendance is not mandatory and requires your consent.

But the seriousness of the interview should not be overlooked simply due to its voluntary nature. During the interview you are under caution, and the interview itself is recorded and can be used as evidence in any criminal proceedings, in the situation where a decision is made to arrest you.

Voluntary Interview – What are the differences from arrest?

It is important to establish that a voluntary interview is not an arrest. They are more informal compared to the standard interviews in arrests. The police turn in favour of a voluntary interview with you if, they either do not think it is necessary to arrest you at the time, or they do not have sufficient evidence to do so.

Voluntary Interview – Why should you attend a voluntary interview?

A benefit of attending a voluntary interview is the ability to gain control over the situation. As with an interview after arrest, you would be able to consult with your solicitor, prior to the interview. And since the interview would be by appointment at a time convenient to you this would allow you more time to organise your answers, as opposed to being arrested suddenly and being underprepared for any questions asked.

Voluntary Interview – What happens if you do not attend?

If you choose not to attend your voluntary interview, you become at risk of being arrested if the police have enough evidence to do so. Therefore, it is in your best interest to attend the voluntary interview.

Voluntary Interview – What are your rights?

Prior and during your voluntary interview, you are entitled to a free solicitor to receive advice from and to be present at the interview. If you opt for a solicitor, you must communicate this to the police interviewer, who must allow you the opportunity to speak to your solicitor before interviewing you. Though a solicitor is optional, it is highly recommended as any information disclosed during the interview can be used in court against you. If you seek a solicitor, your appropriate adult can ask for one on your behalf.

Under 18s have the right to be assisted by an adult. This person is called your ”appropriate adult.” Your appropriate adult must be with you during the stages when the police officer informs you of your rights, as well as when the police caution is read and the officer asks you if you consent to be interviewed. You have the right to speak to your solicitor without the presence of your appropriate adult.

Your appropriate adult must also be present, if available, during the final stages of the police charging or reporting you for an offence.

You are also entitled to a right of silence, which will be communicated to you at the beginning of the interview by the police. Though, if you choose not to answer questions, it may harm your defence.

Additional rights include:

  • Right to leave during the voluntary interview at any time
  • Free right to an interpreter and to have documents translated
  • Free right to contact your embassy for advice if you are not a British National
  • Right to look at the Codes of Practice – which is a list of rules that the police will comply with during the interview
  • Right to know which offence you are thought to have committed and why the police want to interview you
Voluntary Interview – What are voluntary interviews?

A voluntary interview is an interview requested by the police in order to assist them with an investigation. Importantly, it is not mandatory that you attend and such an interview requires your consent.

But the seriousness of the interview should not be overlooked simply due to its voluntary nature. During the interview you are under caution, and the interview itself is recorded and can be used as evidence in any criminal proceedings, in the situation where a decision is made to arrest you.

Voluntary Interview – What are the differences from arrest?

It is important to establish that a voluntary interview is not an arrest. They are more informal compared to the standard interviews in arrests. The police turn in favour of a voluntary interview with you if they either do not think it is necessary to arrest you at the time, or they do not have sufficient evidence to do so.

Voluntary Interview – Why should you attend a voluntary interview?

A benefit of attending a voluntary interview is the ability to gain control over the situation. As with an interview after arrest, you would be able to consult with your solicitor, prior to the interview. And since the interview would be by appointment at a time convenient to you this would allow you more time to organise your answers, as opposed to being arrested suddenly and being underprepared for any questions asked.

Voluntary Interview – What happens if you do not attend?

If you choose not to attend your voluntary interview, you become at risk of being arrested if the police have enough evidence to do so. Therefore, it is in your best interest to attend the voluntary interview.

Voluntary Interview – What are your rights?

Prior to, and during, your voluntary interview you are entitled to a free solicitor to receive advice from and to be present at the interview. If you opt for a solicitor you must communicate this to the police interviewer, who must allow you the opportunity to speak to your solicitor before interviewing you. Though a solicitor is optional, it is highly recommended as any information disclosed during the interview can be used in court against you.

You are also entitled to a right of silence, which will be communicated to you at the beginning of the interview by the police. Though, if you choose not to answer questions, it may harm your defence.

Additional rights include:

  • Right to leave during the voluntary interview at any time
  • Free right to an interpreter and to have documents translated
  • Free right to contact your embassy for advice if you are not a British National
  • Right to look at the Codes of Practice – which is a list of rules that the police will comply with during the interview
  • Right to know which offence you are thought to have committed and why the police want to interview you
Arrest – The Basics

Anyone who is arrested should always seek legal representation even if this might involve some delay to their being interviewed/released. 

An arrest is the apprehending or restraining of a person, to detain them at a police station, whilst an alleged crime is investigated. There are various things to understand if you find that you have been arrested, including: the powers of the police to arrest you, who can be arrested, on what grounds you can be arrested and your rights during and after the arrest.

The power to arrest with a warrant

An arrest warrant is a written order which can be issued by the court. The police are able to apply to a Magistrate for a warrant to arrest a named individual, and this requires written information from the police supported by evidence which shows that the individual who has been named is suspected of committing a crime. Once this warrant has been obtained, the police have the power to arrest the individual.

The power to arrest without a warrant

The police have the power to arrest without a warrant anyone who:

  • Is about to commit an offence.
  • Is committing an offence.
  • Is suspected to be committing an offence (on reasonable grounds).
  • Is suspected to be about to commit an offence (on reasonable grounds).

The arresting officer can arrest someone only if he has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary for one of the following reasons:

  • To find out the person’s name and address.
  • To stop them causing physical injury to themselves or others
  • To stop them from suffering injury.
  • To stop them damaging property.
  • To stop them committing an offence against public decency.
  • To prevent causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway.
  • To protect a child or another vulnerable person.
  • To allow a quick and effective investigation of an offence.
  • To prevent the person from disappearing and hindering any prosecution of an offence.

So, what are reasonable grounds?

Having ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing something means that the arresting officer has an honest belief based on facts or evidence that would lead an ordinary person to conclude that the person who had been arrested was guilty of an offence.

What does a lawful arrest require?

Two things:

  • A person’s suspected or attempted involvement in an offence.
  • Reasonable grounds for believing that the arrest is necessary.

During the arrest, the police officer must also tell you that you are under arrest and the grounds for your arrest, which must be explained to you in simple and non-technical language.

Police officers are also permitted to use reasonable force when carrying out an arrest. This means that any force they use must be reasonable in the circumstances, and not excessive. They also retain the right to search an arrested person. They can do this for 3 reasons:

  • If they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person may present a danger to themselves or others.
  • To search for anything they might use to assist them to escape custody.
  • To search for any evidence relating to an offence.

Powers of Detention

Once you are arrested, you must be taken to a designated police station, with a custody officer. Custody officers are experienced officers who are not a part of the investigation team on the offence you’ve been arrested for. They are responsible for those in detention and for keeping records; it is their job to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you, and their job to detain you, and to release you if they do not have sufficient evidence to charge you.

If they have reasonable grounds to believe that it’s necessary to detain you while they obtain evidence relating to the offence you’ve been arrested for, they can authorise keeping you in police detention.

Where they allow you to be kept in police detention without being charged, they must write up a written record of grounds for your detention, as soon as possible, and they should do this in your presence, explaining the grounds, unless –

  • You are incapable of understanding what is said at the time.
  • You are violent, or likely to become violent.
  • You are in need of medical treatment.

Time Limits on Detention

Detention begins when you arrive at the station after arrest and the custody officer declares there is a reason for detention. After this, there must be a review after 6 hours, then 15 hours, and every 9 hours thereafter.

The general rule is that the police may detain someone for 24 hours. They can detain for a further 12 hours (36 hours total) with permission of a senior officer, but only if you are under arrest for an indictable offence (this is a more serious offence, that can only be tried in the Crown Court). For indictable offences, you can be detained beyond 36 hours, but only if the police apply to the Magistrates’ Court. They can allow detention of up to 96 hours, but this must be done in two applications to the Magistrates’ Court – the first can permit a further 36 hours detention (72 hours total) and 24 hours upon second application (96 hours total).

Arrest – Your Rights

Anyone who is arrested should always seek legal representation even if this might involve some delay to their being interviewed/released. 

An arrest is the apprehending or restraining of a person, to detain them at a police station, whilst an alleged crime is investigated. There are various things to understand if you find that you have been arrested, including: the powers of the police to arrest you, who can be arrested, on what grounds you can be arrested and your rights during and after the arrest.

The power to arrest with a warrant

An arrest warrant is a written order which can be issued by the court. The police are able to apply to a Magistrate for a warrant to arrest a named individual, and this requires written information from the police supported by evidence which shows that the individual who has been named is suspected of committing a crime. Once this warrant has been obtained, the police have the power to arrest the individual.

The power to arrest without a warrant

The police have the power to arrest without a warrant anyone who:

  • Is about to commit an offence.
  • Is committing an offence.
  • Is suspected to be committing an offence (on reasonable grounds).
  • Is suspected to be about to commit an offence (on reasonable grounds).

The arresting officer can arrest someone only if he has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary for one of the following reasons:

  • To find out the person’s name and address.
  • To stop them causing physical injury to themselves or others
  • To stop them from suffering injury.
  • To stop them damaging property.
  • To stop them committing an offence against public decency.
  • To prevent causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway.
  • To protect a child or another vulnerable person.
  • To allow a quick and effective investigation of an offence.
  • To prevent the person from disappearing and hindering any prosecution of an offence.

So, what are reasonable grounds?

Having ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing something means that the arresting officer has an honest belief based on facts or evidence that would lead an ordinary person to conclude that the person who had been arrested was guilty of an offence.

What does a lawful arrest require?

Two things:

  • A person’s suspected or attempted involvement in an offence.
  • Reasonable grounds for believing that the arrest is necessary.

During the arrest, the police officer must also tell you that you are under arrest and the grounds for your arrest, which must be explained to you in simple and non-technical language.

Police officers are also permitted to use reasonable force when carrying out an arrest. This means that any force they use must be reasonable in the circumstances, and not excessive. They also retain the right to search an arrested person. They can do this for 3 reasons:

  1. If they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person may present a danger to themselves or others.
  • To search for anything they might use to assist them to escape custody.
  • To search for any evidence relating to an offence.

Powers of Detention

Once you are arrested, you must be taken to a designated police station, with a custody officer. Custody officers are experienced officers who are not a part of the investigation team on the offence you’ve been arrested for. They are responsible for those in detention and for keeping records; it is their job to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you, and their job to detain you, and to release you if they do not have sufficient evidence to charge you.

If they have reasonable grounds to believe that it’s necessary to detain you while they obtain evidence relating to the offence you’ve been arrested for, they can authorise keeping you in police detention.

Where they allow you to be kept in police detention without being charged, they must write up a written record of grounds for your detention, as soon as possible, and they should do this in your presence, explaining the grounds, unless –

  • You are incapable of understanding what is said at the time.
  • You are violent, or likely to become violent.
  • You are in need of medical treatment.

Time Limits on Detention

Detention begins when you arrive at the station after arrest and the custody officer declares there is a reason for detention. After this, there must be a review after 6 hours, then 15 hours, and every 9 hours thereafter.

The general rule is that the police may detain someone for 24 hours. They can detain for a further 12 hours (36 hours total) with permission of a senior officer, but only if you are under arrest for an indictable offence (this is a more serious offence, that can only be tried in the Crown Court). For indictable offences, you can be detained beyond 36 hours, but only if the police apply to the Magistrates’ Court. They can allow detention of up to 96 hours, but this must be done in two applications to the Magistrates’ Court – the first can permit a further 36 hours detention (72 hours total) and 24 hours upon second application (96 hours total).

Arrest – The Basics

Anyone who is arrested should always seek legal representation even if this might involve some delay to their being interviewed/released. 

An arrest is the apprehending or restraining of a person, to detain them at a police station, whilst an alleged crime is investigated. There are various things to understand if you find that you have been arrested, including: the powers of the police to arrest you, who can be arrested, on what grounds you can be arrested and your rights during and after the arrest.

The power to arrest with a warrant

An arrest warrant is a written order which can be issued by the court. The police are able to apply to a Magistrate for a warrant to arrest a named individual, and this requires written information from the police supported by evidence which shows that the individual who has been named is suspected of committing a crime. Once this warrant has been obtained, the police have the power to arrest the individual.

The power to arrest without a warrant

The police have the power to arrest without a warrant anyone who:

  • Is about to commit an offence.
  • Is committing an offence.
  • Is suspected to be committing an offence (on reasonable grounds).
  • Is suspected to be about to commit an offence (on reasonable grounds).

The arresting officer can arrest someone only if he has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary for one of the following reasons:

  • To find out the person’s name and address.
  • To stop them causing physical injury to themselves or others
  • To stop them from suffering injury.
  • To stop them damaging property.
  • To stop them committing an offence against public decency.
  • To prevent causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway.
  • To protect a child or another vulnerable person.
  • To allow a quick and effective investigation of an offence.
  • To prevent the person from disappearing and hindering any prosecution of an offence.

So, what are reasonable grounds?

Having ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing something means that the arresting officer has an honest belief based on facts or evidence that would lead an ordinary person to conclude that the person who had been arrested was guilty of an offence.

What does a lawful arrest require?

Two things:

  • A person’s suspected or attempted involvement in an offence.
  • Reasonable grounds for believing that the arrest is necessary.

During the arrest, the police officer must also tell you that you are under arrest and the grounds for your arrest, which must be explained to you in simple and non-technical language.

Police officers are also permitted to use reasonable force when carrying out an arrest. This means that any force they use must be reasonable in the circumstances, and not excessive. They also retain the right to search an arrested person. They can do this for 3 reasons:

  • If they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person may present a danger to themselves or others.
  • To search for anything they might use to assist them to escape custody.
  • To search for any evidence relating to an offence.

Powers of Detention

Once you are arrested, you must be taken to a designated police station, with a custody officer. Custody officers are experienced officers who are not a part of the investigation team on the offence you’ve been arrested for. They are responsible for those in detention and for keeping records; it is their job to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you, and their job to detain you, and to release you if they do not have sufficient evidence to charge you.

If they have reasonable grounds to believe that it’s necessary to detain you while they obtain evidence relating to the offence you’ve been arrested for, they can authorise keeping you in police detention.

Where they allow you to be kept in police detention without being charged, they must write up a written record of grounds for your detention, as soon as possible, and they should do this in your presence, explaining the grounds, unless –

  • You are incapable of understanding what is said at the time.
  • You are violent, or likely to become violent.
  • You are in need of medical treatment.

Time Limits on Detention

Detention begins when you arrive at the station after arrest and the custody officer declares there is a reason for detention. After this, there must be a review after 6 hours, then 15 hours, and every 9 hours thereafter.

The general rule is that the police may detain someone for 24 hours. They can detain for a further 12 hours (36 hours total) with permission of a senior officer, but only if you are under arrest for an indictable offence (this is a more serious offence, that can only be tried in the Crown Court). For indictable offences, you can be detained beyond 36 hours, but only if the police apply to the Magistrates’ Court. They can allow detention of up to 96 hours, but this must be done in two applications to the Magistrates’ Court – the first can permit a further 36 hours detention (72 hours total) and 24 hours upon second application (96 hours total).

Arrest – Your Rights

Anyone who is arrested should always seek legal representation even if this might involve some delay to their being interviewed/released. 

An arrest is the apprehending or restraining of a person, to detain them at a police station, whilst an alleged crime is investigated. There are various things to understand if you find that you have been arrested, including: the powers of the police to arrest you, who can be arrested, on what grounds you can be arrested and your rights during and after the arrest.

The power to arrest with a warrant

An arrest warrant is a written order which can be issued by the court. The police are able to apply to a Magistrate for a warrant to arrest a named individual, and this requires written information from the police supported by evidence which shows that the individual who has been named is suspected of committing a crime. Once this warrant has been obtained, the police have the power to arrest the individual.

The power to arrest without a warrant

The police have the power to arrest without a warrant anyone who:

  • Is about to commit an offence.
  • Is committing an offence.
  • Is suspected to be committing an offence (on reasonable grounds).
  • Is suspected to be about to commit an offence (on reasonable grounds).

The arresting officer can arrest someone only if he has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary for one of the following reasons:

  • To find out the person’s name and address.
  • To stop them causing physical injury to themselves or others
  • To stop them from suffering injury.
  • To stop them damaging property.
  • To stop them committing an offence against public decency.
  • To prevent causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway.
  • To protect a child or another vulnerable person.
  • To allow a quick and effective investigation of an offence.
  • To prevent the person from disappearing and hindering any prosecution of an offence.

So, what are reasonable grounds?

Having ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing something means that the arresting officer has an honest belief based on facts or evidence that would lead an ordinary person to conclude that the person who had been arrested was guilty of an offence.

What does a lawful arrest require?

Two things:

  • A person’s suspected or attempted involvement in an offence.
  • Reasonable grounds for believing that the arrest is necessary.

During the arrest, the police officer must also tell you that you are under arrest and the grounds for your arrest, which must be explained to you in simple and non-technical language.

Police officers are also permitted to use reasonable force when carrying out an arrest. This means that any force they use must be reasonable in the circumstances, and not excessive. They also retain the right to search an arrested person. They can do this for 3 reasons:

  • If they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person may present a danger to themselves or others.
  • To search for anything they might use to assist them to escape custody.
  • To search for any evidence relating to an offence.

Powers of Detention

Once you are arrested, you must be taken to a designated police station, with a custody officer. Custody officers are experienced officers who are not a part of the investigation team on the offence you’ve been arrested for. They are responsible for those in detention and for keeping records; it is their job to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you, and their job to detain you, and to release you if they do not have sufficient evidence to charge you.

If they have reasonable grounds to believe that it’s necessary to detain you while they obtain evidence relating to the offence you’ve been arrested for, they can authorise keeping you in police detention.

Where they allow you to be kept in police detention without being charged, they must write up a written record of grounds for your detention, as soon as possible, and they should do this in your presence, explaining the grounds, unless –

  • You are incapable of understanding what is said at the time.
  • You are violent, or likely to become violent.
  • You are in need of medical treatment.

Time Limits on Detention

Detention begins when you arrive at the station after arrest and the custody officer declares there is a reason for detention. After this, there must be a review after 6 hours, then 15 hours, and every 9 hours thereafter.

The general rule is that the police may detain someone for 24 hours. They can detain for a further 12 hours (36 hours total) with permission of a senior officer, but only if you are under arrest for an indictable offence (this is a more serious offence, that can only be tried in the Crown Court). For indictable offences, you can be detained beyond 36 hours, but only if the police apply to the Magistrates’ Court. They can allow detention of up to 96 hours, but this must be done in two applications to the Magistrates’ Court – the first can permit a further 36 hours detention (72 hours total) and 24 hours upon second application (96 hours total).

Arrest – The Basics

Anyone who is arrested should always seek legal representation even if this might involve some delay to their being interviewed/released. 

An arrest is the apprehending or restraining of a person, to detain them at a police station, whilst an alleged crime is investigated. There are various things to understand if you find that you have been arrested, including: the powers of the police to arrest you, who can be arrested, on what grounds you can be arrested and your rights during and after the arrest.

The power to arrest with a warrant

An arrest warrant is a written order which can be issued by the court. The police are able to apply to a Magistrate for a warrant to arrest a named individual, and this requires written information from the police supported by evidence which shows that the individual who has been named is suspected of committing a crime. Once this warrant has been obtained, the police have the power to arrest the individual.

The power to arrest without a warrant

The police have the power to arrest without a warrant anyone who:

  • Is about to commit an offence.
  • Is committing an offence.
  • Is suspected to be committing an offence (on reasonable grounds).
  • Is suspected to be about to commit an offence (on reasonable grounds).

The arresting officer can arrest someone only if he has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary for one of the following reasons:

  • To find out the person’s name and address.
  • To stop them causing physical injury to themselves or others
  • To stop them from suffering injury.
  • To stop them damaging property.
  • To stop them committing an offence against public decency.
  • To prevent causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway.
  • To protect a child or another vulnerable person.
  • To allow a quick and effective investigation of an offence.
  • To prevent the person from disappearing and hindering any prosecution of an offence.

So, what are reasonable grounds?

Having ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing something means that the arresting officer has an honest belief based on facts or evidence that would lead an ordinary person to conclude that the person who had been arrested was guilty of an offence.

What does a lawful arrest require?

Two things:

  • A person’s suspected or attempted involvement in an offence.
  • Reasonable grounds for believing that the arrest is necessary.

During the arrest, the police officer must also tell you that you are under arrest and the grounds for your arrest, which must be explained to you in simple and non-technical language.

Police officers are also permitted to use reasonable force when carrying out an arrest. This means that any force they use must be reasonable in the circumstances, and not excessive. They also retain the right to search an arrested person. They can do this for 3 reasons:

  • If they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person may present a danger to themselves or others.
  • To search for anything they might use to assist them to escape custody.
  • To search for any evidence relating to an offence.

Powers of Detention

Once you are arrested, you must be taken to a designated police station, with a custody officer. Custody officers are experienced officers who are not a part of the investigation team on the offence you’ve been arrested for. They are responsible for those in detention and for keeping records; it is their job to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you, and their job to detain you, and to release you if they do not have sufficient evidence to charge you.

If they have reasonable grounds to believe that it’s necessary to detain you while they obtain evidence relating to the offence you’ve been arrested for, they can authorise keeping you in police detention.

Where they allow you to be kept in police detention without being charged, they must write up a written record of grounds for your detention, as soon as possible, and they should do this in your presence, explaining the grounds, unless –

  • You are incapable of understanding what is said at the time.
  • You are violent, or likely to become violent.
  • You are in need of medical treatment.

Time Limits on Detention

Detention begins when you arrive at the station after arrest and the custody officer declares there is a reason for detention. After this, there must be a review after 6 hours, then 15 hours, and every 9 hours thereafter.

The general rule is that the police may detain someone for 24 hours. They can detain for a further 12 hours (36 hours total) with permission of a senior officer, but only if you are under arrest for an indictable offence (this is a more serious offence, that can only be tried in the Crown Court such as rape, robbery or some serious assaults).

For indictable offences, you can be detained beyond 36 hours, but only if the police apply to the Magistrates’ Court. They can allow detention of up to 96 hours, but this must be done in two applications to the Magistrates’ Court – the first can permit a further 36 hours detention (72 hours total) and 24 hours upon second application (96 hours total).

Arrest – Your Rights

Right to have someone informed

You have the right to have someone informed of your detention, as soon as is practicable. This extends to one friend, relative or another person who is likely to take an interest in your welfare. The police will normally ask for 3-4 names and numbers in order to fulfil this obligation, but only one will be informed.

If you are detained in connection with an indictable offence, a senior police officer may delay informing someone for up to 36 hours. However, they can only do this if they have reasonable grounds to believe that telling the person will –

  • Interfere with or harm evidence
  • Interfere with or harm other people
  • Alert others involved in the offence, or
  • Slow down the recovery of property obtained through the offence.

Making a telephone call

You may also be allowed to speak on the phone to one person, for a reasonable time. This is in addition to the right to have someone informed of the arrest. Unless the call is to a solicitor, a police officer can listen to the call and is allowed to terminate it if they believe it is being abused.

You must be warned and should be aware if there is anything you say in a call, to anyone other than your solicitor, it can be given in evidence, and that this is not an absolute right – it can be refused or delayed by the police.

Right to legal advice

You can either contact your own solicitor if you have one or use the duty solicitors provided for free for anyone under arrest.

If you are suspected of committing an indictable offence, an officer of superintendent rank or above might delay informing someone for up to 36 hours, if they have reasonable grounds for believing that not doing this will –

  • Lead to interference with, or harm to, evidence connected to the offence.
  • Lead to interference with, or harm to, other people.
  • Lead to serious loss of, or damage to, property.
  • Lead to alerting other people suspected of having committed an offence but not yet arrested for it.

Delaying the right to legal advice can only be justified on rare occasions though, and the decision must be based on specific aspects of the case, not just a general assumption that access to a solicitor might lead to the alerting of accomplices.

The police are allowed to start questioning before the solicitor arrives if the matter is urgent, or the solicitor is likely to be delayed for some time. You are also allowed to consult the police Code of Practice which sets out police rules relating to detention.

Cell conditions

Cells must be adequately heated, lit, cleaned and ventilated. You are allowed at least two light meals and one main meal in any 24-hour period. Drinks should be provided at mealtimes and upon reasonable requests between meals. You must also be allowed eight hours continuous rest in a 24-hour period.

Your rights during interview

All interviews at a police station have to be tape-recorded (in accordance with PACE Code E) and in some cases (determined by Code F), the interview must be video recorded. Video recordings are more likely to be considered where –

  • You or your solicitor or appropriate adult requests for the interview to be visually recorded.
  • You or someone else present is deaf or deaf/blind or speech impaired and uses sign language.
  • The interviewer suspects that you might demonstrate your actions or behaviour at the time or to examine a particular item or object handed to you.
  • The authorised recording device used in accordance with Code E incorporates a camera and creates a combined audio and visual recording and does not allow the visual recording function to operate independently of the audio recording function.

The interview rooms must be adequately heated, lit and ventilated. Breaks should take place at recognised mealtimes and there should be a short refreshment break every two hours. You can only be interviewed under caution – you have to be warned of your right to silence, but that if you don’t answer questions it can go against your case.

Pace Codes of Practice

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/police-and-criminal-evidence-act-1984-pace-codes-of-practice (Please check that these codes are up-to-date at the time of viewing)

Treatment of suspects and exclusion of evidence

The court has power to prevent the prosecution using statements which have been obtained through oppression to be used as evidence which includes lies, manipulation or abuse of power.

Right to Silence

You can refuse to answer any questions asked during your interviews, but the law allows inferences to be drawn from the fact that a suspect has refused to answer questions. If your case goes to trial, the judge can comment on your failure to mention a crucial matter and this can form part of the evidence against you at trial.

Strip searches

The custody officer must check the property you have with you. This means that you might be searched if the officer thinks this is necessary to carry out his/her duty to the extent that the custody officer considers necessary.

Clothes and personal effects may only be seized if the custody officer believes that you might use them –

  • To cause physical injury to yourself or someone else.
  • To damage property
  • To interfere with evidence
  • To assist you to escape
  • Or that it may be evidence relating to an offence.

This involves the removal of more than outer clothing, including shoes and socks. This is only allowed if it’s necessary to remove something you should not be allowed to keep and there is a reasonable suspicion that the suspect might have concealed such an article.

The search must be conducted by a member of the same sex in a place where it cannot be seen by anyone who does not need to be present. You should not normally be required to remove all clothing at the same time.

Intimate searches

This consists of the physical examination of a person’s body orifices other than the mouth. This can only be authorised by a high-ranking officer if there are reasonable grounds to believe you might have concealed an item which could be used to cause injury to yourself or others or, that you’re in possession of a Class A drug, and this is the only means of removing the item.

Two people must be present in addition to you. Where drugs are concerned, the search must be carried out by a suitably qualified person such as a doctor or nurse at medical premises. Other searches can be conducted by a same sex constable, if an Inspector authorises it, but only as a last resort.

Fingerprints and body samples

Fingerprints can be taken by the police at the police station. They will ask you to agree to this, but if you do not consent the police can use reasonable force to take fingerprints.

“Intimate samples” may include dental impressions, samples of blood, semen or any other tissue fluid, urine or pubic hair, or a swab taken from any part of your genitals or from a body orifice other than the mouth. They can be taken if –

  • A police officer of Inspector rank or above has reasonable grounds to believe such an impression or sample will confirm or disprove the suspect’s involvement in a recordable offence and gives authorisation for a sample to be taken.
  • With your written consent
  • You must be informed of the reason, including the nature of the suspected offence.
  • You must also be informed that authorisation has been given, and a sample taken at the police station may be subject of a speculative search. You must also be warned that if you refuse without good cause, this refusal may harm your case if it comes to trial.

Non-intimate samples may be taken without consent and reasonable force may be used. These include samples of hair, other than pubic hair, which includes hair plucked from the root, a sample taken from a nail or from under a nail, a swab taken from any part of a person’s body other than a part from which an intimate swab would be taken, or saliva.

Bail & Remand – Definitions

Bail – Where a person is released by the Police, Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court after being charged with an offence and is allowed to go home whilst awaiting his trial.

However, in some cases, conditions may be imposed upon a person’s bail.

Remand – Where a person is placed into custody (e.g. a prison or detention centre) once he has been charged with an offence. The person will remain in custody until the hearing at the Magistrates’ court. At the hearing, the Magistrates may decide that the person shall remain in custody until his trial date or may be granted bail (which may be subject to conditions) until his trial date.

Bail & Remand – Pre-charge Bail

If the police are not yet in a position to charge a suspect and can no longer detain the suspect for questioning, the suspect must be released. The police may release the suspect either on bail (this may be subject to conditions and the police have certain powers of arrest where such conditions have been breached) or without bail to investigate further on the matter.

If the police release the suspect on bail, they can only allow that person to be on bail for a maximum of 28 days (however, in rare circumstances, this may be extended). Within this 28-day period, the police will carry out further enquiries and obtain a decision as to whether the suspect should be charged or not.

Bail & Remand – General right to bail and exclusions

Generally, everyone has a right to bail but this general right will not apply where a person is charged with Murder, Manslaughter, a Serious Sexual Offence or is a Class A Drug User (if any of these charges apply, bail will only be granted if there are exceptional circumstances to justify it).

There may be other situations where bail is unlikely to be granted. For example, if someone is charged with a serious crime not listed above (i.e. armed robbery), if they have past convictions for serious crimes, if they have previously been given bail but breached the conditions or if the police have reason to believe that the person may commit a crime whilst on bail or will not turn up for their hearing.

Bail & Remand – Unconditional Bail

Bail can be given unconditionally (without conditions). This means that there are no rules attached to it and the person given bail does not need to comply with any specific requirements.

Alternatively, a person may be given conditional bail which means they will need to follow certain rules (See relevant section below for more information).

Bail & Remand – Conditional Bail

If someone is given conditional bail, they may need to follow certain rules, for example:

–        Reporting to the Police station at regular agreed times. 

–        Not driving whilst on bail 

–        Not contacting certain people 

–        Notifying the prosecutor of the address that they staying at 

–        Adhering to a curfew (this may be checked by electronic monitoring)

–        Agreeing to electronic monitoring with a GPS Location tracker

–        Making a payment 

–        Surrendering a document or item

–        Giving a security (ie. giving an item such as a passport to the courts or police – this item will be returned to you at the end of your bail).

Bail & Remand – Breach of Bail

Breach of conditions for bail – where a person has broken one or more condition(s) of their bail then there may be consequences.

A police officer has the power to arrest a person if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person on bail is likely to break one of the bail conditions or if the person has already broken one of these conditions.

Once the person has been arrested, that person must be brought before the Magistrates’ court and be dealt with within 24 hours of the arrest.

Consequently, the Magistrates’ Court may decide to place that person in remand (custody) or may grant him bail, subject to the same or different conditions as before. 

Bail & Remand – Reasons for Remand

A person charged with an offence may be placed in remand if: 

–        They are charged with a serious crime, 

–        If they have been convicted in the past for a serious crime, 

–        If the police believe that the person on bail will not attend the court hearing,

–        If they have previously been given bail but breached the conditions or

–        If the police have reason to believe that they may commit a crime whilst on bail.

Bail & Remand – Rights in Remand

If a person is put on remand before the trial takes place, the individual has not been convicted of the crime but merely placed in custody until the trial. This means that they should not be treated as a prisoner and will have certain rights such as wearing their own clothes, having more frequent visits etc. 

Bail & Remand – Definitions

Bail – Where a person is released by the Police, Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court after being charged with an offence and is allowed to go home whilst awaiting his trial.

However, in some cases, conditions may be imposed upon a person’s bail.

Remand – Where a person is placed into custody once he has been charged with an offence. Individuals under 18 who are placed on remand will be taken to a secure centre for young people and not be placed in an adult prison.  The person will remain in custody until the hearing at the Magistrates’ court. At the hearing, the Magistrates may decide that the person shall remain in custody until his trial date or may be granted bail (which may be subject to conditions) until his trial date.

Bail & Remand – Pre-charge Bail

If the police are not yet in a position to charge a suspect and can no longer detain the suspect for questioning, the suspect must be released. The police may release the suspect either on bail (this may be subject to conditions and the police have certain powers of arrest where such conditions have been breached) or without bail to investigate further on the matter.

If the police release the suspect on bail, they can only allow that person to be on bail for a maximum of 28 days (however, in rare circumstances, this may be extended). Within this 28-day period, the police will carry out further enquiries and obtain a decision as to whether the suspect should be charged or not.

Bail & Remand – General right to bail and exclusions

Generally, everyone has a right to bail but this general right will not apply where a person is charged with Murder, Manslaughter, a Serious Sexual Offence or is a Class A Drug User (if any of these charges apply, bail will only be granted if there are exceptional circumstances to justify it).

There may be other situations where bail is unlikely to be granted. For example, if someone is charged with a serious crime not listed above (i.e. armed robbery), if they have past convictions for serious crimes, if they have previously been given bail but breached the conditions or if the police have reason to believe that the person may commit a crime whilst on bail or will not turn up for their hearing. 

Bail & Remand – Unconditional Bail

Bail can be given unconditionally (without conditions). This means that there are no rules attached to it and the person given bail does not need to comply with any specific requirements.

Alternatively, a person may be given conditional bail which means they will need to follow certain rules (See relevant section below for more information).

Bail & Remand – Conditional Bail

If someone is given conditional bail, they may need to follow certain rules, for example:

–        Reporting to the Police station at regular agreed times. 

–        Not driving whilst on bail 

–        Not contacting certain people 

–        Notifying the prosecutor of the address that they staying at 

–        Adhering to a curfew (this may be checked by electronic monitoring)

–        Agreeing to electronic monitoring with a GPS Location tracker

–        Making a payment 

–        Surrendering a document or item

–        Giving a security (ie. giving an item such as a passport to the courts or police – this item will be returned to you at the end of your bail).

  • They may also be subject to the condition that they must attend and participate in bail support, bail support and supervision as well as Intensive and Surveillance (ISS) Programme.

Bail conditions for under 18’s:

  • Youths may be subject to similar conditions as adults (see above). They may also be subject to the condition that they must attend and participate in bail support, bail support and supervision as well as Intensive and Surveillance (ISS) Programme.
Bail & Remand – Breach of Bail

Breach of conditions for bail – where a person has broken one or more condition(s) of their bail then there may be consequences.

A police officer has the power to arrest a person if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person on bail is likely to break one of the bail conditions or if the person has already broken one of these conditions.

Once the person has been arrested, that person must be brought before the Magistrates’ court and be dealt with within 24 hours of the arrest.

Consequently, the Magistrates’ Court may decide to place that person in remand (custody) or may grant him bail, subject to the same or different conditions as before. 

Bail & Remand – Reasons for Remand

A person charged with an offence may be placed in remand if: 

–        They are charged with a serious crime, 

–        If they have been convicted in the past for a serious crime, 

–        If the police believe that the person on bail will not attend the court hearing,

–        If they have previously been given bail but breached the conditions or

–        If the police have reason to believe that they may commit a crime whilst on bail.

Bail & Remand – Rights in Remand

If a person is put on remand before the trial takes place, the individual has not been convicted of the crime but merely placed in custody until the trial. This means that they should not be treated as a prisoner and will have certain rights such as wearing their own clothes, having more frequent visits etc. 

Bail & Remand – Definitions

Bail – Where a person is released by the Police, Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court after being charged with an offence and is allowed to go home whilst awaiting his trial.

However, in some cases, conditions may be imposed upon a person’s bail.

Remand – Where a person is placed into custody (e.g. a prison or detention centre) once he has been charged with an offence. The person will remain in custody until the hearing at the Magistrates’ court. At the hearing, the Magistrates may decide that the person shall remain in custody until his trial date or may be granted bail (which may be subject to conditions) until his trial date.

Bail & Remand – Pre-charge Bail

If the police are not yet in a position to charge a suspect and can no longer detain the suspect for questioning, the suspect must be released. The police may release the suspect either on bail (this may be subject to conditions and the police have certain powers of arrest where such conditions have been breached) or without bail to investigate further on the matter.

If the police release the suspect on bail, they can only allow that person to be on bail for a maximum of 28 days (however, in rare circumstances, this may be extended). Within this 28-day period, the police will carry out further enquiries and obtain a decision as to whether the suspect should be charged or not.

Bail & Remand – General right to bail and exclusions

Generally, everyone has a right to bail but this general right will not apply where a person is charged with Murder, Manslaughter, a Serious Sexual Offence or is a Class A Drug User (if any of these charges apply, bail will only be granted if there are exceptional circumstances to justify it).

There may be other situations where bail is unlikely to be granted. For example, if someone is charged with a serious crime not listed above (i.e. armed robbery), if they have past convictions for serious crimes, if they have previously been given bail but breached the conditions or if the police have reason to believe that the person may commit a crime whilst on bail or will not turn up for their hearing. 

Bail & Remand – Unconditional Bail

Bail can be given unconditionally (without conditions). This means that there are no rules attached to it and the person given bail does not need to comply with any specific requirements.

Alternatively, a person may be given conditional bail which means they will need to follow certain rules (See relevant section below for more information).

Bail & Remand – Conditional Bail

If someone is given conditional bail, they may need to follow certain rules, for example:

–        Reporting to the Police station at regular agreed times. 

–        Not driving whilst on bail 

–        Not contacting certain people 

–        Notifying the prosecutor of the address that they staying at 

–        Adhering to a curfew (this may be checked by electronic monitoring)

–        Agreeing to electronic monitoring with a GPS Location tracker

–        Making a payment 

–        Surrendering a document or item

–        Giving a security (ie. giving an item such as a passport to the courts or police – this item will be returned to you at the end of your bail).

Bail & Remand – Breach of Bail

Breach of conditions for bail – where a person has broken one or more condition(s) of their bail then there may be consequences.

A police officer has the power to arrest a person if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person on bail is likely to break one of the bail conditions or if the person has already broken one of these conditions.

Once the person has been arrested, that person must be brought before the Magistrates’ court and be dealt with within 24 hours of the arrest.

Consequently, the Magistrates’ Court may decide to place that person in remand (custody) or may grant him bail, subject to the same or different conditions as before. 

Bail & Remand – Reasons for Remand

A person charged with an offence may be placed in remand if: 

–        They are charged with a serious crime, 

–        If they have been convicted in the past for a serious crime, 

–        If the police believe that the person on bail will not attend the court hearing,

–        If they have previously been given bail but breached the conditions or

–        If the police have reason to believe that they may commit a crime whilst on bail.

Bail & Remand – Rights in Remand

If a person is put on remand before the trial takes place, the individual has not been convicted of the crime but merely placed in custody until the trial. This means that they should not be treated as a prisoner and will have certain rights such as wearing their own clothes, having more frequent visits etc. 

Police Investigation – When does a suspect become aware of a police investigation?

Suspects will generally become aware of in investigation taking place if the police ask to question them, or the suspect is arrested, searched or held in police custody.

Police Investigation How long will the investigation take?

If a person is interviewed or arrested, they may then be released under investigation or released on bail.

Subsequently there is no time frame for how long an investigation may take, if the investigation is straight forward then it may take just a few hours. However more complex cases may take years.

The police will try and keep suspects updated at important points in the investigation and will contact suspects at the end of an investigation.

Police Investigation What will the Police investigate?

Suspects are often asked to provide significant amounts of information to the police, this may include access to their mobile phones, medical records and financial evidence.

The police are responsible for the investigation and it is their duty to investigate aspects that they believe to be important. Once the police have decided that they have enough evidence from the investigation, they will refer their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Police Investigation What happens after the police have their information/ after an interview?

Police may decide straight away that they do not wish to proceed further with the suspect.

Sometimes, if the police need more information then suspects will be released under investigation or released on bail.

Police Investigation What does being released under investigation mean?

If a suspect is released under investigation, then this means the police are continuing their investigation but there is no need for a suspect to return to the police station, and there are no other conditions attached. Suspects will wait for the police to contact them with more information.

Police Investigation What will happen if the Police charge me?

If a suspect is charged with an offence, then they will be given a court date to attend. Being charged with an offence does not mean a suspect has been convicted, further action can be taken if the suspect pleads not guilty leading to a formal investigation and court trial.

Police Investigation – When does a suspect become aware of a police investigation?

Suspects will generally become aware of in investigation taking place if the police ask to question them, or the suspect is arrested, searched or held in police custody.

Police Investigation How long will the investigation take?

If a person is interviewed or arrested, they may then be released under investigation or released on bail.

Subsequently there is no time frame for how long an investigation may take, if the investigation is straight forward then it may take just a few hours. However more complex cases may take years.

The police will try and keep suspects updated at important points in the investigation and will contact suspects at the end of an investigation.

Police Investigation What will the Police investigate?

Suspects are often asked to provide significant amounts of information to the police, this may include access to their mobile phones, medical records and financial evidence.

The police are responsible for the investigation and it is their duty to investigate aspects that they believe to be important. Once the police have decided that they have enough evidence from the investigation, they will refer their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Police Investigation What happens after the police have their information/ after an interview?

Police may decide straight away that they do not wish to proceed further with the suspect.

Sometimes, if the police need more information then suspects will be released under investigation or released on bail.

Police Investigation What does being released under investigation mean?

If a suspect is released under investigation, then this means the police are continuing their investigation but there is no need for a suspect to return to the police station, and there are no other conditions attached. Suspects will wait for the police to contact them with more information.

Police Investigation – What does Police Bail mean?

If a suspect is released under police bail this means that the suspect has an obligation to return to the police station at a specified time and date. Conditions may also be placed on suspects, for example curfews to abide by may be given. If bail is breached by either not turning up to the police station or violating conditions, then the police can arrest the suspect and bring them to court. In some instances, a suspect may be sent to prison.

Police Investigation What will happen if the Police charge me?

If a suspect is charged with an offence, then they will be given a court date to attend. Being charged with an offence does not mean a suspect has been convicted, further action can be taken if the suspect pleads not guilty leading to a formal investigation and court trial.

Police Investigation – When does a suspect become aware of a police investigation?

Suspects will generally become aware of in investigation taking place if the police ask to question them, or the suspect is arrested, searched or held in police custody.

Police Investigation – How long will the investigation take?

If a person is interviewed or arrested, they may then be released under investigation or released on bail.

Subsequently there is no time frame for how long an investigation may take, if the investigation is straight forward then it may take just a few hours. However more complex cases may take years.

The police will try and keep suspects updated at important points in the investigation and will contact suspects at the end of an investigation.

Police Investigation – What will the Police investigate?

Suspects are often asked to provide significant amounts of information to the police, this may include access to their mobile phones, medical records and financial evidence.

The police are responsible for the investigation and it is their duty to investigate aspects that they believe to be important. Once the police have decided that they have enough evidence from the investigation, they will refer their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Police Investigation – What happens after the police have their information/ after an interview?

Police may decide straight away that they do not wish to proceed further with the suspect.

Sometimes, if the police need more information then suspects will be released under investigation or released on bail.

Police Investigation – What does being released under investigation mean?

If a suspect is released under investigation, then this means the police are continuing their investigation but there is no need for a suspect to return to the police station, or any other conditions attached. Suspects will wait for the police to contact them with more information.

Police Investigation – What does Police Bail mean?

If a suspect is released under police bail this means that the suspect has an obligation to return to the police station at a specified time and date. Conditions may also be placed on suspects, for example curfews to abide by may be given. If bail is breached by either not turning up to the police station or violating conditions, then the police can arrest the suspect and bring them to court. In some instances, a suspect may be sent to prison.

Police Investigation – What will happen if the Police charge me?

If a suspect is charged with an offence, then they will be given a court date to attend. Being charged with an offence does not mean a suspect has been convicted, further action can be taken if the suspect pleads not guilty leading to a formal investigation and court trial.

Support – Before Charge
Rights at Police Station

If taken to the police station, you have the right to:

  • free legal advice
  • be given your rights in writing and in your first language
  • a free interpreter or signer if needed
  • tell someone where you are, commonly known as the right to a phone call
  • see the rules that the police must follow
  • medical help if required

You must be told about your right to free legal advice after you have been arrested and before you are questioned at a police station. If you have asked for legal advice the police cannot question you until you have received this, although there are some rare exceptions to this.

If you require any additional support or wish to exercise any other of your rights listed above, then let the custody sergeant know.

 

Vulnerable Adults

The police must try to contact find an ‘appropriate adult’ to come to the station to help you and be present during questioning and searching. An appropriate adult will protect your welfare and make sure that you understand the information. An appropriate adult can be:

  • your  carer
  • a social worker
  • another family member or friend aged 18 or over
  • a volunteer aged 18 or over.

 

If asked to attend for interview voluntarily

If asked to attend voluntarily for an interview, you have the same rights and support available to you as if you were arrested. As you haven’t been arrested the police can’t impose bail conditions after the interview so you will be free to leave, unless charged as a result of the interview.

You also do not have to agree to a voluntary interview, but If you don’t agree to go voluntarily the police may consider whether to have the interview under arrest.

Support – After Charge
Legal Aid

You could be entitled to free legal advice or financial help with legal fees if you have to go to court. This is called legal aid. Once you have left the police station, any legal aid you can get will be based on your income.

You will automatically get legal aid for legal representation in court if you are under 16 (or under 18 and in full-time education) or on certain benefits.

A solicitor can check if you are eligible for legal aid. You will need to give information about the following for both yourself and your partner:

  • benefits – including benefits statements
  • income, savings and spending – including pay slips and bank statements
  • National Insurance numbers

You will also need copies of evidence relating to your case, such as court documents and relevant letters.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to support you in finding legal advice or helping you with what actions you need to take. They can also advise you of what will happen at court, although they will not give legal advice themselves.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can also help you find legal support.

Finding Legal Support

You can find a solicitor online at https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ or you can phone the Law Society on 020 7320 5650.

You can find a barrister online at www.directaccessportal.co.uk.

At Court

When you get to court staff can help you with questions about the court. But they cannot give you legal advice or talk about your case.

If you cannot speak English very well, or have a disability that makes it hard for you to understand, you should tell the court as soon as possible. They can get you an interpreter, or other support to help you understand. Liaison and Diversion Services can provide support to people with mental health problems or learning difficulties. These will be found within the court building.

If you have not found legal advice before going to court, the duty solicitors might be able to help you in your court appearance.

After Sentence

After a sentence is passed your legal advisor will be able to explain this to you, and the implications of it.

If you are given a sentence to be served in the community, a community order, the National Probation Service will be able to support you in meeting the requirements of this. The National Probation Service can also support you if you are given a custodial sentence.

Support – Before Charge
Rights at Police Station

If taken to the police station, you have the right to:

  • free legal advice
  • be given your rights in writing and in your first language
  • a free interpreter or signer if needed
  • tell someone where you are, commonly known as the right to a phone call
  • see the rules that the police must follow
  • medical help if required

You must be told about your right to free legal advice after you have been arrested and before you are questioned at a police station. If you have asked for legal advice the police cannot question you until you have received this, although there are some rare exceptions to this.

If you require any additional support or wish to exercise any other of your rights listed above, then let the custody sergeant know.

 

U18’s

The police must try to contact your parent, guardian or carer.

They must also find an ‘appropriate adult’ to come to the station to help you and be present during questioning and searching. An appropriate adult will protect your welfare and make sure that you understand the information. An appropriate adult can be:

  • your parent, guardian or carer
  • a social worker
  • another family member or friend aged 18 or over
  • a volunteer aged 18 or over.

 

If asked to attend for interview voluntarily

If asked to attend voluntarily for an interview, you have the same rights and support available to you as if you were arrested. As you haven’t been arrested the police can’t impose bail conditions after the interview so you will be free to leave, unless charged as a result of the interview.

You also do not have to agree to a voluntary interview, but If you don’t agree to go voluntarily the police may consider whether to have the interview under arrest.

Support – After Charge
Legal Aid

You could be entitled to free legal advice or financial help with legal fees if you have to go to court. This is called legal aid. Once you have left the police station, any legal aid you can get will be based on your income.

You will automatically get legal aid for legal representation in court if you are under 16 (or under 18 and in full-time education) or on certain benefits.

A solicitor can check if you are eligible for legal aid. You will need to give information about the following for both yourself and your partner:

  • benefits – including benefits statements
  • income, savings and spending – including pay slips and bank statements
  • National Insurance numbers

You will also need copies of evidence relating to your case, such as court documents and relevant letters.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to support you in finding legal advice or helping you with what actions you need to take. They can also advise you of what will happen at court, although they will not give legal advice themselves.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can also help you find legal support.

Finding Legal Support

You can find a solicitor online at https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ or you can phone the Law Society on 020 7320 5650.

You can find a barrister online at www.directaccessportal.co.uk.

At Court

When you get to court staff can help you with questions about the court. But they cannot give you legal advice or talk about your case.

If you cannot speak English very well, or have a disability that makes it hard for you to understand, you should tell the court as soon as possible. They can get you an interpreter, or other support to help you understand. Liaison and Diversion Services can provide support to people with mental health problems or learning difficulties. These will be found within the court building.

If you have not found legal advice before going to court, the duty solicitors might be able to help you in your court appearance.

After Sentence

After a sentence is passed your legal advisor will be able to explain this to you, and the implications of it.

If you are given a sentence to be served in the community, a community order, the National Probation Service will be able to support you in meeting the requirements of this. The National Probation Service can also support you if you are given a custodial sentence.

Support – Before Charge
Rights at Police Station

If taken to the police station, you have the right to:

  • free legal advice
  • be given your rights in writing and in your first language
  • a free interpreter or signer if needed
  • tell someone where you are, commonly known as the right to a phone call
  • see the rules that the police must follow
  • medical help if required

You must be told about your right to free legal advice after you have been arrested and before you are questioned at a police station. If you have asked for legal advice the police cannot question you until you have received this, although there are some rare exceptions to this.

If you require any additional support or wish to exercise any other of your rights listed above, then let the custody sergeant know.

 

If asked to attend for interview voluntarily

If asked to attend voluntarily for an interview, you have the same rights and support available to you as if you were arrested. As you haven’t been arrested the police can’t impose bail conditions after the interview so you will be free to leave, unless charged as a result of the interview.

You also do not have to agree to a voluntary interview, but If you don’t agree to go voluntarily the police may consider whether to have the interview under arrest.

Support – After Charge
Legal Aid

You could be entitled to free legal advice or financial help with legal fees if you have to go to court. This is called legal aid. Once you have left the police station, any legal aid you can get will be based on your income.

You will automatically get legal aid for legal representation in court if you are under 16 (or under 18 and in full-time education) or on certain benefits.

A solicitor can check if you are eligible for legal aid. You will need to give information about the following for both yourself and your partner:

  • benefits – including benefits statements
  • income, savings and spending – including pay slips and bank statements
  • National Insurance numbers

You will also need copies of evidence relating to your case, such as court documents and relevant letters.

Citizens Advice Bureau

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to support you in finding legal advice or helping you with what actions you need to take. They can also advise you of what will happen at court, although they will not give legal advice themselves.

The Citizens Advice Bureau can also help you find legal support.

Finding Legal Support

You can find a solicitor online at https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ or you can phone the Law Society on 020 7320 5650.

You can find a barrister online at www.directaccessportal.co.uk.

At Court

When you get to court staff can help you with questions about the court. But they cannot give you legal advice or talk about your case.

If you cannot speak English very well, or have a disability that makes it hard for you to understand, you should tell the court as soon as possible. They can get you an interpreter, or other support to help you understand. Liaison and Diversion Services can provide support to people with mental health problems or learning difficulties. These will be found within the court building.

If you have not found legal advice before going to court, the duty solicitors might be able to help you in your court appearance.

After Sentence

After a sentence is passed your legal advisor will be able to explain this to you, and the implications of it.

If you are given a sentence to be served in the community, a community order, the National Probation Service will be able to support you in meeting the requirements of this. The National Probation Service can also support you if you are given a custodial sentence.

Decision – What is No Further Action? (NFA)

If the police record “no further action”, this means that they are not pursuing any criminal investigation; your case has been dropped and you are free to go. However, this does not mean that you are now found not guilty of a criminal offence. You have not been formally acquitted. This means that it may still appear that you have been arrested under background checks.

Circumstances that your case can be brought up again:

If additional or new evidence is discovered, police may reconsider their decision and continue their criminal investigation.

Decision – Charged

What does being charged mean?

If you have been charged with a crime, this means that the government have formally accused you of committing a crime. You will only be charged with a criminal offence if there is sufficient evidence.  This means that a formal allegation (a statement which is not yet proven) of an offence is made against you. It is important to know that at this stage you are innocent until proven guilty.

What happens when you have been charged?

When you have been charged, you will be given a ‘charge sheet’ which will set out the details of the crime you have been charged with. There will then be guidance given as to where you will be located following the charge until the court hearing (if necessary).

You can either be:

  • Held in police custody until your hearing
  • Released on conditional bail
  • Released on unconditional bail save for attending court

At your court hearing you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to your charge.

Charges relating to minor offences

If you have been charged with a minor offence, you may encounter the ‘single justice procedure’. This procedure makes a decision going forward without sending your case to court.

The ‘single justice procedure’ has a 21 days response time. It is important to note that these rules differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Decision – Bailed

What is bail?

Being released on bail means you will be able to go home but certain conditions may be attached to your bail. The police can impose bail before you have been charged with an offence (pre-charge bail) and after you have been charged until your initial court hearing (post-charge bail). At the initial court hearing, the court can grant you bail until your trial (court bail).

Police bail

When the police do not have sufficient evidence to charge you after being detained, there is a presumption that you will not be released on bail but instead, released under investigation (sometimes referred to as RUI). If you are released under investigation it means that you are released from custody without the obligation to return to the police station at a certain date. However, the police will continue to investigate the allegation and may contact you at any point or even arrest you in some cases if they need you to return to the police station for questioning. Alternatively, the police will impose bail (pre-charge bail):

  • For an initial period of up to 28 days where they think it is necessary and proportionate in the circumstances and it is authorised by an officer of at least inspector rank.
  • A senior officer of superintendent rank or above can authorise an additional extension of up to 3 months to the initial period.
  • Any further extensions must be approved by a magistrates’ court.

When you have been charged with an offence, the police may either keep you in custody until your first court hearing or release on you on bail (post-charge bail). You are unlikely to be given post-charge bail where the police think that:

  • The name or address you provided to the police is not your real name or address.
  • You will not appear at the court hearing to answer to bail.
  • You will commit an offence whilst on bail.
  • You will interfere with the investigation of the offence.
  • Detention is necessary for your protection.

Court bail

On each occasion you are brought to the court you have a general right to bail which is subject to exceptions. If you are not given bail, you will be remanded by the court. You are unlikely to be given bail by the court if:

  • You have been charged with a serious offence.
  • The court thinks you will commit an offence or cause injury to someone whilst on bail.
  • You have previously breached terms of bail.
  • You have been convicted of a serious offence in the past.
  • The court thinks you will not attend you court hearing.

Bail conditions

When you are released on bail you can be granted it unconditionally or conditionally. Unconditional bail means that no conditions will be attached to your bail except for the requirement to appear at the police station at a later date (pre-charge bail) or your court hearing at a later date (post-charge and court bail). Conditional bail means that you will have to agree to conditions when you are released on bail. These conditions will be set out on your bail sheet and will be tailored to the specific circumstances for which bail is being granted.  The conditions may include:

  • Not to contact certain people.
  • Surrendering passport or travel documents to the police.
  • Living at a particular address (the police cannot impose the condition for you to reside at a bail hostel).
  • Electronic monitoring (only the court can impose this condition).
  • Restrictions from entering certain areas.
  • Having to report to a police station at agreed times.

Breach of bail

If the police have reasonable grounds for believing you have breached the pre-charge bail conditions, they can arrest and keep you in custody. Once in detention, the custody officer will have to determine whether you can be charged if they have authorisation to do so. The authorisation can be sought whilst you are detained. If the custody officer has not been given authorisation, he or she must release you without charge, either on bail or without bail. If you are released on bail, you will be subject to the same bail conditions that applied immediately before you were arrested for the breach.

With regard to post-charge bail and court bail, you can be arrested by the police if they have reasonable grounds that you have broken or are likely to break bail conditions. Once arrested, you will be brought before the magistrates’ court as soon as practicable and the court must make a decision on your breach within 24 hours of your arrest. The court may decide to remand you in custody, grant you bail subject to the same conditions or different conditions if they think that:

  • You are not likely to surrender to custody;
  • You have broken bail conditions; or
  • You are likely to breach bail conditions.
Decision – What is No Further Action? (NFA)

If the police record “no further action”, this means that they are not pursuing any criminal investigation; your case has been dropped and you are free to go. However, this does not mean that you are now found not guilty of a criminal offence. You have not been formally acquitted. This means that it may still appear that you have been arrested under background checks.

Circumstances that your case can be brought up again: If additional or new evidence is discovered, police may reconsider their decision and continue their criminal investigation.

Decision – Charged

What does being charged mean?

If you have been charged with a crime, this means that the government have formally accused you of committing a crime. You will only be charged with a criminal offence if there is sufficient evidence.  This means that a formal allegation (a statement which is not yet proven) of an offence is made against you. It is important to know that at this stage you are innocent until proven guilty.  

What happens when you have been charged?

When you have been charged, you will be given a ‘charge sheet’ which will set out the details of the crime you have been charged with. There will then be guidance given as to where you will be located following the charge until the court hearing (if necessary).

You can either be:

  • Held in police custody until your hearing
  • Released on conditional bail
  • Released on unconditional bail save for attending court

At your court hearing you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to your charge.

Charges relating to minor offences

If you have been charged with a minor offence, you may encounter the ‘single justice procedure’. This procedure makes a decision going forward without sending your case to court.

The ‘single justice procedure’ has a 21 days response time.

It is important to note that these rules differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Charges relating to young people

The conditions of these charges can differ compared to charges relating to adults. There are special procedures in place for children.

 Young people under 18 who plead guilty or are convicted of a charge will be dealt with by the Youth Justice System. For more serious cases, it may be referred to the Crown Court. If you have been charged with a minor offence, your case may be dealt with outside the court system either through the Police Youth Diversion Scheme or through a Diversionary Conference.

How a young person’s charge differs from that of an adult:

If you are between the age of 10-17 and charged with a crime, your identity will not be disclosed outside of a courtroom. There are reporting restrictions which means your identity, name, address or school etc. will not be revealed so you have anonymity throughout proceedings.

Decision – Bailed

What is bail?

Being released on bail means you will be able to go home but certain conditions may be attached to your bail. The police can impose bail before you have been charged with an offence (pre-charge bail) and after you have been charged until your initial court hearing (post-charge bail). At the initial court hearing, the court can grant you bail until your trial (court bail).

Youth bail

Youth offenders have a presumed right to bail. If you are under 18 years, the police and courts should always consider your welfare and your best interests as a primary factor when deciding a bail application. The youth offending team will provide information, bail support and supervision packages created to help your individual needs. If bail is refused, you will be remanded in a local authority accommodation or where specific conditions are met, you may be remanded in a youth detention accommodation.

Police bail

When the police do not have sufficient evidence to charge you after being detained, there is a presumption that you will not be released on bail but instead, released under investigation (sometimes referred to as RUI). If you are released under investigation it means that you are released from custody without the obligation to return to the police station at a certain date. However, the police will continue to investigate the allegation and may contact you at any point or even arrest you in some cases if they need you to return to the police station for questioning. Alternatively, the police will impose bail (pre-charge bail):

  • For an initial period of up to 28 days where they think it is necessary and proportionate in the circumstances and it is authorised by an officer of at least inspector rank.
  • A senior officer of superintendent rank or above can authorise an additional extension of up to 3 months to the initial period.
  • Any further extensions must be approved by a magistrates’ court.

When you have been charged with an offence, the police may either keep you in custody until your first court hearing or release on you on bail (post-charge bail). You are unlikely to be given post-charge bail where the police think that:

  • The name or address you provided to the police is not your real name or address.
  • You will not appear at the court hearing to answer to bail.
  • You will commit an offence whilst on bail.
  • You will interfere with the investigation of the offence.
  • Detention is necessary for your protection.

Court bail

On each occasion you are brought to the court you have a general right to bail which is subject to exceptions. If you are not given bail, you will be remanded by the court. You are unlikely to be given bail by the court if:

  • You have been charged with a serious offence.
  • The court thinks you will commit an offence or cause injury to someone whilst on bail.
  • You have previously breached terms of bail.
  • You have been convicted of a serious offence in the past.
  • The court thinks you will not attend you court hearing.

Bail conditions

When you are released on bail you can be granted it unconditionally or conditionally. Unconditional bail means that no conditions will be attached to your bail except for the requirement to appear at the police station at a later date (pre-charge bail) or your court hearing at a later date (post-charge and court bail). Conditional bail means that you will have to agree to conditions when you are released on bail. These conditions will be set out on your bail sheet and will be tailored to the specific circumstances for which bail is being granted.  The conditions may include:

  • Not to contact certain people.
  • Surrendering passport or travel documents to the police.
  • Living at a particular address (the police cannot impose the condition for you to reside at a bail hostel).
  • Electronic monitoring (only the court can impose this condition).
  • Restrictions from entering certain areas.
  • Having to report to a police station at agreed times.

Breach of bail

If the police have reasonable grounds for believing you have breached the pre-charge bail conditions, they can arrest and keep you in custody. Once in detention, the custody officer will have to determine whether you can be charged if they have authorisation to do so. The authorisation can be sought whilst you are detained. If the custody officer has not been given authorisation, he or she must release you without charge, either on bail or without bail. If you are released on bail, you will be subject to the same bail conditions that applied immediately before you were arrested for the breach.

With regard to post-charge bail and court bail, you can be arrested by the police if they have reasonable grounds that you have broken or are likely to break bail conditions. Once arrested, you will be brought before the magistrates’ court as soon as practicable and the court must make a decision on your breach within 24 hours of your arrest. The court may decide to remand you in custody, grant you bail subject to the same conditions or different conditions if they think that:

  • You are not likely to surrender to custody;
  • You have broken bail conditions; or
  • You are likely to breach bail conditions.
Decision – What is No Further Action? (NFA)

If the police record “no further action”, this means that they are not pursuing any criminal investigation; your case has been dropped and you are free to go. However, this does not mean that you are now found not guilty of a criminal offence. You have not been formally acquitted. This means that it may still appear that you have been arrested under background checks.

Circumstances that your case can be brought up again

If additional or new evidence is discovered, police may reconsider their decision and continue their criminal investigation.

Decision – Charged

What does being charged mean?

If you have been charged with a crime, this means that the government have formally accused you of committing a crime. You will only be charged with a criminal offence if there is sufficient evidence.  This means that a formal allegation (a statement which is not yet proven) of an offence is made against you. It is important to know that at this stage you are innocent until proven guilty.

What happens when you have been charged?

When you have been charged, you will be given a ‘charge sheet’ which will set out the details of the crime you have been charged with. There will then be guidance given as to where you will be located following the charge until the court hearing (if necessary).

You can either be:

  • Held in police custody until your hearing
  • Released on conditional bail
  • Released on unconditional bail save for attending court

At your court hearing you will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to your charge.

Charges relating to minor offences

If you have been charged with a minor offence, you may encounter the ‘single justice procedure’. This procedure makes a decision going forward without sending your case to court.

The ‘single justice procedure’ has a 21 days response time.

It is important to note that these rules differ in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Decision – Bailed

What is bail?

Being released on bail means you will be able to go home but certain conditions may be attached to your bail. The police can impose bail before you have been charged with an offence (pre-charge bail) and after you have been charged until your initial court hearing (post-charge bail). At the initial court hearing, the court can grant you bail until your trial (court bail).

Police bail

When the police do not have sufficient evidence to charge you after being detained, there is a presumption that you will not be released on bail but instead, released under investigation (sometimes referred to as RUI). If you are released under investigation it means that you are released from custody without the obligation to return to the police station at a certain date. However, the police will continue to investigate the allegation and may contact you at any point or even arrest you in some cases if they need you to return to the police station for questioning. Alternatively, the police will impose bail (pre-charge bail):

  • For an initial period of up to 28 days where they think it is necessary and proportionate in the circumstances and it is authorised by an officer of at least inspector rank.
  • A senior officer of superintendent rank or above can authorise an additional extension of up to 3 months to the initial period.
  • Any further extensions must be approved by a magistrates’ court.

When you have been charged with an offence, the police may either keep you in custody until your first court hearing or release on you on bail (post-charge bail). You are unlikely to be given post-charge bail where the police think that:

  • The name or address you provided to the police is not your real name or address.
  • You will not appear at the court hearing to answer to bail.
  • You will commit an offence whilst on bail.
  • You will interfere with the investigation of the offence.
  • Detention is necessary for your protection.

Court bail

On each occasion you are brought to the court you have a general right to bail which is subject to exceptions. If you are not given bail, you will be remanded by the court. You are unlikely to be given bail by the court if:

  • You have been charged with a serious offence.
  • The court thinks you will commit an offence or cause injury to someone whilst on bail.
  • You have previously breached terms of bail.
  • You have been convicted of a serious offence in the past.
  • The court thinks you will not attend you court hearing.

Bail conditions

When you are released on bail you can be granted it unconditionally or conditionally. Unconditional bail means that no conditions will be attached to your bail except for the requirement to appear at the police station at a later date (pre-charge bail) or your court hearing at a later date (post-charge and court bail). Conditional bail means that you will have to agree to conditions when you are released on bail. These conditions will be set out on your bail sheet and will be tailored to the specific circumstances for which bail is being granted.  The conditions may include:

  • Not to contact certain people.
  • Surrendering passport or travel documents to the police.
  • Living at a particular address (the police cannot impose the condition for you to reside at a bail hostel).
  • Electronic monitoring (only the court can impose this condition).
  • Restrictions from entering certain areas.
  • Having to report to a police station at agreed times.

Breach of bail

If the police have reasonable grounds for believing you have breached the pre-charge bail conditions, they can arrest and keep you in custody. Once in detention, the custody officer will have to determine whether you can be charged if they have authorisation to do so. The authorisation can be sought whilst you are detained. If the custody officer has not been given authorisation, he or she must release you without charge, either on bail or without bail. If you are released on bail, you will be subject to the same bail conditions that applied immediately before you were arrested for the breach.

With regard to post-charge bail and court bail, you can be arrested by the police if they have reasonable grounds that you have broken or are likely to break bail conditions. Once arrested, you will be brought before the magistrates’ court as soon as practicable and the court must make a decision on your breach within 24 hours of your arrest. The court may decide to remand you in custody, grant you bail subject to the same conditions or different conditions if they think that:

  • You are not likely to surrender to custody;
  • You have broken bail conditions; or

You are likely to breach bail conditions.

Investigation – Rights Content (Under 18 / Mentally Impaired)

When you collapse an accordion item and save, it will automatically display collapsed in front end

Investigation – Rights Content (Over 18)

When you collapse an accordion item and save, it will automatically display collapsed in front end