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Your Rights on Arrest

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 27 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Police Custody Police Station Arrested

The police can arrest you for a number of reasons, but when they do arrest you your right to freedom is exchanged for a number of other rights that legally protect you while in custody.

At the Police Station

Once you have been arrested you will be taken to a police station. At the police station you have a number of rights that include:
  • Not to be held for more than 24 hours without being charged. The police can apply for longer periods if they need more time. This can be up to 96 hours if approval from a magistrates’ court is granted
  • Seeing a solicitor who will be provided free of charge
  • Your family or next of kin to be informed of your location
  • The police code of practice to be made available to you

The Caution

After your arrest it is your right to be formally cautioned. The caution gives details of the crime you have been arrested for, and also informs you that if you do not mention something when you are questioned that you later rely on in court this may harm your defence. Also, anything you say to the police can also be given as evidence in court if your case goes to trial.

If the police think that they have a strong case against you and have the evidence they need to prove that case in court, you will be given a formal caution. This reminds you of your rights and how your case will now proceed. This usually means sending your case file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who will decide if the police’s case is strong enough to go to court.

Your Rights After Arrest

At the police station you will be questioned. If you are under 17 years of age, a parent, guardian or an adult that knows you such as a teacher must be present. At this stage all you have to do is confirm your name and address. You do not have to answer any other questions. However, if you don’t respond to questions this will be noted and if your case goes to court this failure to cooperate could count against you. If your solicitor hasn’t arrived at the police station yet, it is your right to wait for them so you can use their legal knowledge to decide whether you should answer a specific question.

Note however, that the police can delay your meeting with a solicitor if you have been arrested for a serious crime and they think that contact with your solicitor could interfere with the case.

The code of practice that you should have read includes details of how the police should carry out their questioning. You are entitled to regular breaks for food and the toilet. Your rights on arrest also state that the police should not use interview techniques that place unreasonable pressure on you to answer their questions.

Your interview will be tape-recorded, or in some cases written notes will be taken. You may also have your fingerprints taken as well as your photograph.

The Charge

Once your interview is complete the police will then decide whether they want to proceed with your case. If they do not, you will be released without charge. If they do want to proceed, it is your right to be given a charge sheet that will give details of the crime you are accused of, where and when your first court appearance will take place, and what – if any – are your bail conditions.

Your Right to Bail

If the police charge you your rights state that you should normally be given bail. However, the police can argue that you should not have bail if:
  • They think you have given a false name and address
  • They think you are likely to not come to your court hearing
  • They think you may leave the country to avoid prosecution

You will appear before a magistrates’ court that will decide if you can have bail and if so, any condition you must follow. Note that you will not be eligible for bail if you committed a serious offence such as murder.

Read our article Police and Court Bail for more information about what to expect.

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[Add a Comment]
My partner of many years and father to child assaulted me a few days ago I retaliated so we both have marks. I didn't want to report to the police as I wanted to civilly break up and try to communicate for our daughter l. He locked me out of the property with my daughter and wouldn't let me back in so I went to the police and made a statement against him so he would be arrested and taken out of the property we both rent. (Both on tenancy) he has been released with no further action and has rang me saying he is coming to my home and I can't stop him to which I've rang the police. Police have come out and said there is nothing they can do he has every right to be at the property too. I'm scared for my safety and my daughters and feel I can't go back to the house as its to dangerous his friend lives a few doors down and he could easily smash a window or my car up. I'm seeing a solicitor in the next few days but want to know how to move foward
Help - 27-Sep-16 @ 12:12 AM
I was arrested for criminal damage by Northumbria police at Forth Banks police station in Newcastle upon Tyne. I was in the cell for 6 1/2 hours then questioned at interview I refused a legal solicitor at the time of being booked in. After my interview they went to book me out and gave me a caution to which I signed for. The custody Sargent took my caution away and put me in the cell for a further 11 1/2 hours to which I pressed my call button for hours and hours and novody came. I was stripped down to my underwear and my blanket removed from me. I asked for a solicitor 8 times once placed back in my cell and didn't recieve one at all throughout my stay at the station. I asks on numerous times for food and water to which I never got. I was cold and also assaulted by a detention officer called Richardson after he pushed me in my cell once I pushed his hand off me whilst he layered his hands on me. I have made a complaint to the station and to Vera Baird the police crime commissioner regarding these issues. What I would like to know is if it's correct the way they gave me s caution then placed me back in the cell for no apparent reason??? I'm appalled and disgusted by the way I was treated and the fact they have broke so many codes of practice. I will be taking this furtheras far as I can. They can't treat people like this. I was fully compliant on being arrested wasn't handcuffed, admitted the offence of breaking a window and the police offer said this to the custody sergeant on booking in process. I'm disgusted!!!!!!
Anth - 26-Sep-16 @ 2:05 PM
My cousin created some type of trouble, and he was told he's fine and he went on holidays for 2 months. On he's way back to uk, at the airport he was taken jail by the police. I still haven't got a clue why might that have happened.
Najz - 26-Sep-16 @ 3:32 AM
Will - Your Question:
My girlfriend had been arrested this morning at 10am for fraud, how long can they hold her for, as I was going to wait at the holding bar till she got out, I telephoned the station to ask when she would be released, they said that she wanted a solicitor present at the police interview.

Our Response:
The police can hold an individual for up to 24 hours before they have to charge or release that person. For a more serious crime such as murder it is 36-96 hours.
CourtroomAdvice - 23-Sep-16 @ 2:54 PM
My girlfriend had been arrested this morning at 10am for fraud, how long can they hold her for, as I was going to wait at the holding bar till she got out, I telephoned the station to ask when she would be released, they said that she wanted a solicitor present at the police interview.
Will - 23-Sep-16 @ 1:08 PM
My fiancé was arrested few days ago. Charged with two counts of domestic assault and criminal damage to my car. Since he been released on bail I've heard that he has finally gotten help for anger management courses, AA and depression. Alcohol has the the cause of the assaults, when sober he is level headed and a nice person. I really don't want him to go to prison for what he did to me, I believe he can be rehabilitated within the community by continuing with AA ETC. What can I do to help him as I really don't think prison is the answer in this case
Worriedsick - 17-Sep-16 @ 7:54 PM
My partner has been detained at police station for breach of peace. Our 9 year old was asked for a statement that I was told to sign.Her dad has been held for court in the morning can they use her statement if she wasn't aware why she was asked if she heard him shouting. Scotland
Lynne - 15-Sep-16 @ 8:57 PM
I was charged in the UK with 'Assault by beating', cautioned & put into police custody for 24 hours where the police assaulted me but I was not interviewed as on my report it stated that the 24 hours clock had run out & that I would be arrested again at a later date so that the 24 clock could start up again, is this right? I am in limbo at the moment & have this hanging over me, what should I do? It's now been six months since this first arrest - Thanks
UFO380 - 15-Sep-16 @ 6:33 PM
Missy- Your Question:
My ex boyfriend has being going in and out of jail for various crimes such as armed robbery theft assault attempts of courts and I also have like a few cases against him with a few protection orders his back in jail now awaiting trail maybe going for bail but the problem is he is stil threating me from the inside and his realy psycho so what can I do to stop him from getting bail.

Our Response:
You would have to report evidence of his threats to the police. Please see link here.
CourtroomAdvice - 15-Sep-16 @ 10:13 AM
I was arrested after a domestic as I reacted after my wife smashed a plate on my head causing a deep gash. I was then told due to me having morphine ect that I was not fit to be held. Was then told to report again 6 hours later which I did was then rearrested and held till 1030 that night 12.5 hours. I told them I was on a special diet, which my wife brought to the police station Low fat yogurts due to waiting for a big operation. they then didnt give me any food what so ever. Evan though my wife had told them what I could and couldnt eat. Im sure this must violate my human rights
waynecan - 14-Sep-16 @ 7:14 PM
My ex boyfriend has being going in and out of jail for various crimes such as armed robbery theft assault attempts of courts and I also have like a few cases against him with a few protection orders his back in jail now awaiting trail maybe going for bail but the problem is he is stil threating me from the inside and his realy psycho so what can I do to stop him from getting bail....
Missy - 14-Sep-16 @ 11:46 AM
Cdmere - Your Question:
While in bed, my 17 yr old daughter enters the room and asked to go stay at her friends house on a school night, she was told no, she mouths something and goes to her room. Then she starts dinging my phone threatening to move out when she turns 18 (2mths away) and just kept making comments, just being a mouthy teenager. Her step father yells for her and she comes back to our room, he tells her its time for her friend to go home and for her to go to bed, she wasn't going anywhere. She slams our bedroom door knocking pictures off the wall. My husband immediately got up and went to her room, I followed, he told her friend to go home and my daughter got mouthy with him again and told him no that her friend wasn't leaving. She was on her cell texting and bad-mouthing us, so my husband reached out and took the phone. My daughter hops off the bed and starts hitting my husband saying she is going to call the cops, grabs the phone and hops up on her bed up against the wall and proceeded to start texting again. My husband reached over the bed grabbed her foot and pulled her toward him, took the phone and walked away. My daughter followed him out of the room beating him the whole way to the kitchen. At this point he had enough, and simply broke the phone. He walks outside the house, still telling the friend to go home and now both my daughters are outside yelling at their step father calling him a dick and saying they hate him. He walks to his mother's house two doors down. Next thing I know the cops show up, my daughter reported to them that he drug her off the bed and tossed her on the floor (which never happened that way) and then they went to my mother in law's house to arrest him for battery on a minor!!! When he got released from jail, he was told he could not come anywhere near her, so he can't come home. He goes to court, and we hired an attorney.my husband is sick to his stomach and can't beleive she would go that far all over being told NO, we are praying the charges get dropped because in no shape or form was that abuse!!!!

Our Response:
Unfortunately, there is little we can comment on here as we are a UK-based site with knowledge of only UK-based domestic violence issues.
CourtroomAdvice - 12-Sep-16 @ 10:42 AM
While in bed, my 17 yr old daughter enters the room and asked to go stay at her friends house on a school night, she was told no, she mouths something and goes to her room. Then she starts dinging my phone threatening to move out when she turns 18 (2mths away) and just kept making comments, just being a mouthy teenager. Her step father yells for her and she comes back to our room, he tells her its time for her friend to go home and for her to go to bed, she wasn't going anywhere. She slams our bedroom door knocking pictures off the wall. My husband immediately got up and went to her room, I followed, he told her friend to go home and my daughter got mouthy with him again and told him no that her friend wasn't leaving. She was on her cell texting and bad-mouthing us, so my husband reached out and took the phone. My daughter hops off the bed and starts hitting my husband saying she is going to call the cops, grabs the phone and hops up on her bed up against the wall and proceeded to start texting again. My husband reached over the bed grabbed her foot and pulled her toward him, took the phone and walked away. My daughter followed him out of the room beating him the whole way to the kitchen. At this point he had enough, and simply broke the phone. He walks outside the house, still telling the friend to go home and now both my daughters are outside yelling at their step father calling him a dick and saying they hate him. He walks to his mother's house two doors down. Next thing I know the cops show up, my daughter reported to them that he drug her off the bed and tossed her on the floor (which never happened that way) and then they went to my mother in law's house to arrest him for battery on a minor!!! When he got released from jail, he was told he could not come anywhere near her, so he can't come home. He goes to court, and we hired an attorney...my husband is sick to his stomach and can't beleive she would go that far all over being told NO, we are praying the charges get dropped because in no shape or form was that abuse!!!!
Cdmere - 11-Sep-16 @ 3:17 AM
the girl i met in the road we had sexand then she went police station accused me for rape when i dint rape her. i drop her all the way home after if it was rape why would she get in carnow i been rebailfor 10 months what you think will happen to me
lutchi - 10-Sep-16 @ 2:57 AM
Hi my husbandwas arrested at homefor a gun and aummition that they found somewhere else. Is this possible?He was charged for it and going to court. And also can he get sign bail for it.They Sid not finsd the gun on him
Bosslady - 9-Sep-16 @ 11:49 AM
Corey - Your Question:
What happens if my ex who I'm not allowed to contact messages me or rings me for example she misses or loves me still ect can I get nicked for her doing this

Our Response:
Yes, you can. Even if your ex contacts you, you have to stick to the terms of the order and not respond.
CourtroomAdvice - 9-Sep-16 @ 10:58 AM
Hi my friend as a 7year old son and a 36 year old took his bike of him the nxt day she assaulted him by pushing him out of the local park. the mum of the child rang police and 3 day later the police turn up what can they be done as the police said they will go round and get my bike and leave it there but he never mentioned her son been assaulted by the same women also I didn't agree with the police offer ????
Domi27 - 9-Sep-16 @ 8:04 AM
What happens if my ex who I'm not allowed to contact messages me or rings me for example she misses or loves me still ect can I get nicked for her doing this
Corey - 8-Sep-16 @ 5:05 PM
Hi I was arrested 5 months ago and had my phone taken from me by the police (they are using it as evidence)and told I was being charged with obstruction. I have not heard anything since then is there a time limit on how long I have to wait to be notified and wI'll I get my phone back.
Oweny - 6-Sep-16 @ 6:59 PM
Domi27 - Your Question:
Hi I am 27 years old and I am living with parentd. I am just wondering if its allegal for them to install a camera in my room or if I have suspicion of them doing so nut they in denial what can I do aboutthis ???

Our Response:
I think you would need to check whether this is the case first, by searching your room.
CourtroomAdvice - 6-Sep-16 @ 1:58 PM
Hi i am 27 years old and i am living with parentd.. i am just wondering if its allegal for them to install a camera in my room or if i have suspicion of them doing so nut they in denial what can i do aboutthis ???
Domi27 - 6-Sep-16 @ 1:12 AM
Hy I was arrested for a minor theft in 2010 and my case was withdrawn now I can't get a job because when a companies take my finger prints the record appears on their system. please help what can I do to solve this matter?
ntosh - 5-Sep-16 @ 4:26 PM
My husband was arrested a few nights ago for assaulting me but when I made a statement I was feeling really emotional an angry I want to retract my statement he has not been charged at this moment it's still pending any advice please
Amzie85 - 1-Sep-16 @ 5:57 PM
My partner was given a suspended custody 2 weeks ago for failing to provide a specimen. Last night he got into a fight and ended up getting really beaten up and was taken into hospital because he lost consciousness. He also had to have his ear glued and they wouldn't preform a CT because he was so agitated. After he was taken into custody for spitting at a policemen which has been put down for assault on police also he spat in the police car which has been put down to racially or religiously aggravated - to a Vechicle. He has been given bail and has to return to the police station on 10 September at 5pm. I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice. I'm 8 and a half months pregnant and being induced next week. Do you think he will be sent down for this?? Is there anything I can do to prevent him from being sent down. What will happen next? Will it go to court? Thank you!
Gina - 27-Aug-16 @ 10:07 PM
Hi I got arrested two days ago and ever since my mobile phone is broken I've been bailed I'm due to be kicked out because no evidence with every file orfound can someone advise me what I can do
Mcc - 27-Aug-16 @ 7:58 PM
Morrisons security had caught me Shoplifting with those self scan checkouts, honestly I cantcprehned how idiotic and stupid it was of me. I was put in the security, boxroom, humiliated and interrogated. He also called the police, we waited for over two hours and he finally let me go as they didn't arrive. What can I expect now? Will I be arrested? Will I have to pay? Is my life over?
Ana - 27-Aug-16 @ 10:35 AM
Terry- Your Question:
My son has been charged without bail for kidnap and on the night in question I was there at the time when he brought the girl to my home the police arrived several hours later and arrested him and charging him with kidnap but she told me she had nowere to go and I said she could stay the night next thing police came and took him away help

Our Response:
I'm afraid there is little we can do here to help if it is in the hands of the police. You would have to seek professional legal advice.
CourtroomAdvice - 24-Aug-16 @ 12:16 PM
My son has been charged without bail for kidnap and on the night in question I was there at the time when he brought the girl to my home the police arrived several hours later and arrested him and charging him with kidnap but she told me she had nowere to go and I said she could stay the night next thing police came and took him away help
Terry - 23-Aug-16 @ 5:51 PM
My brother has been charged with muder and his vicheal is been seize as the main evidence but later his car was released by the police,if they find anything suspicious or evidence,will they return it back
Wison - 21-Aug-16 @ 12:55 PM
Melwa- Your Question:
My son 19 was arrested and bailed for 3 months for indecent pictures of a minor 14 year old girl. She told him she was 17. The police have his phone.I feel like it's a scene from eastenders. What is the worse case senario

Our Response:
I have included the Sentencing Council guidelines here. There are several different levels of sentencing, which are listed in the document. However, this is very rudimentary advice. Your son's solicitor will be able to give him a more informed answer.
CourtroomAdvice - 17-Aug-16 @ 10:06 AM
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