Home > In Trouble > Your Rights on Arrest

Your Rights on Arrest

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 2 Dec 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My son was arrested and put in a cell he clothes were taken from him.He was then in a cell for 8 hours completely naked before a senior officer came on duty and he was given shorts and a top to wear.During his time without clothes he was moved about within the building a couple of times. Is this legal?
Kk - 2-Dec-16 @ 9:48 AM
I was arrested when drunk bit not charged ..I work in a care home and am registered with the sssc ..will this show up on my pvg check .and will my employer be told about my arrest
Maryboll - 1-Dec-16 @ 6:14 PM
My teenage daughter lately has had some attitude and walk around with a massive chip on her shoulder. Any I got SS involved beacuse of this as it's destroying our family. In April My daughter raised her hands to me and looked as if she would again. I therefore restrained her. 2 weeks later SS Child Protect turn up saying I couldn't be alone with them, thankfully hubby home. Was asked to into station under voluntary IUC. In the end nothing done. Last wed my teenager upset crying about maths test. Went to her 3 tme to give advaice, got shouted at. Last time in her romm, I put my arms around her to comfort her as she was sobbing. Get off me etc your chocking me, so I left. Police turn up hour later, kids went to grandpartents as OH away wroking. Turn out she was on face time by phone ner friend called police said I had attacked her. Got told by SS no further action. Yesterday, police turn up, taken to station said I was detained. Got interviewed. My daughte has said I grabbed her arm, her friend saying diff and also me saying diff. Got charged its no sent to proc fiscal. No charge sheet given o conditions etc........ What now, as I have no idea, my daughter doesn't understand the severity of this. She is going to be telling her SS worker that I never attacked her etc but can't see that helping now................... Any ideas, advice ??? TY
Miss N - 30-Nov-16 @ 2:05 PM
my boyfriendwas arested test drivinghis cleant s car the cops said it was a stolenvieacle andthey didnt changehim butkeephimin cell for 3 dsysnow the case theyaccusedhimfor it was foundthatit nota stolenviacle butsome1 boughta phone pay it EFTwhen he got the phone he revesed the moneyback was drivingthe car butthe case wasclosedbeforeevenhisclaent boughtthecarnowtheystillkeeping himin cells WHATDO YOU CALLTHISIS What mustwe do
iyk - 30-Nov-16 @ 8:45 AM
@Gunny - Yes if further evidence is found that implicates you. Ben
BJ12 - 28-Nov-16 @ 11:29 AM
Hi I was arrested for burglary and was nfa'd I was wondering if I can be re-arrested for it again?
Gunny - 27-Nov-16 @ 10:18 AM
Can you help me get my boyfriends bail dropped so he can come home and get in contact with me
Mary - 24-Nov-16 @ 2:49 PM
I was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life im on bail but im wondering will my solicitor get every bit of info and witness statements and show me before trial???
Kirstyy - 13-Nov-16 @ 7:15 PM
@123omg - let this be a lesson to you pal.....don't get in trouble with the police.... I hope your fear will stop you from messing about like this again...but I don't think they're gonna throw you in prison and throw away the key....just yet! Tho they wont be as kind on your second offence..Dan.
meforpresident - 9-Nov-16 @ 2:09 PM
I shot fireworks in the air in a public place and threw one near the police , im only 15 and im out on bail , what do you think is going to happen to me , im really upset with myself , also ive never been arrested before ... Pls reply asap , im scared and dont want to get charged , pls reply asapp !!
123omg - 9-Nov-16 @ 4:27 AM
Hi, police asked to come out and see me get time wise it was quicker for me to go them, when I said the they mentioned interview under caution. I got a Solicitor who when at the police station said it was alleged text and email harrassment against my exs new bloke who I've never met or got phn number etc. Police said they had no evidence linking me to allegation. I told them this bloke was doing that as revenge because Social Services are checking his background due to fact he's not allowed to see his children. To my Solicitors surprise they didn't do interview under caution, said they'd call me back if needed. Why no interview under caution?Solicitor thinks police haven't got budget to pay to check ips etc. When should I hear anything?Thank you
Dave - 5-Nov-16 @ 12:16 PM
I am a Canadian who was charged with what you Brits call "drink driving." Rather than plead guilty, I hired a Calgary, Alberta lawyer who advertises himself as being one of the best with nothing but 5-star ratings on Facebook (I later surmised that he apparently deletes any negative ratings). Anyway, my lawyer told me I had a reasonably strong case and so I went to trial before a judge (in Canada, we can only get a jury trial if the charges are extremely serious). I was found guilty and given a somewhat higher fine than if I had admitted my guilt and not insisted on a trial. I guess that's fair enough as I had decided to roll the dice (although, strictly speaking, in Canada, defendants are not supposed to get a tougher penalty for insisting on a trial). There is no “trial tax,” in theory. Unfortunately, my lawyer told me DURING THE TRIAL that the judge was writing out his decision BEFORE the defence had presented ANY evidence (he told me he had seen this particular judge do this before). In other words, the judge was hell-bent on convicting me before he had even heard from the defence. I never stood a chance! In a previous non-alcohol driving case, another lawyer had explained to me how he could often get a trial deferred to get a better judge, on a later date, if a particularly bad judge came up. That lawyer got my previous charge dropped down to a non-criminal traffic ticket (the judge who came up for that trial happened to be a middle-of-the-road, fair arbiter of justice). The lawyer, in my second case, went through the motions, but he certainly didn't seem to care that much if I won or lost. Though he charged a lot, the bald-headed, bespectacled fellow looked down his nose at me (obviously, regardly me as a lowly criminal). For the record, while nothing to be proud of, my case did not involve any harm to person or property. In any case, I can't identify the convict-'em-all, don’t-bother-me-with-any-evidence-from-the-defence judge in my second case. I can only say that he regularly appears in provincial court in Airdrie and Canmore, Alberta, Canada. In summary, the only conclusions I can draw from this experience are: never commit a crime; beware that defence lawyers will tell you that you have a good chance of winning at trial even if you may not; and, an experienced defence attorney and facts on your side will not matter one little bit if you get the wrong judge.
Charles Williams - 1-Nov-16 @ 3:31 AM
I was arrested for affray and realeased on bail iv never been arrested for anything before I'm so worried about what is gonna happen when I have to go back basically there was a fight involving a group of people and I was accused of punching someone in the face I don't think there is any witnesses and the police did not come to my house to arrest me until the next day can you be charged just from someone acousing without a witness ?
Lee - 24-Oct-16 @ 8:02 PM
My cruel father killed by mother and surrenderto the police i and my 2 brothers are opposedto bail him .we dont want that he shouldget realeased.what should we have to do??how we can stop him to be bailed ?? We are in criticalsituationwithout anyone'ssupport what shouldwe have to do??plz reply me soon
Abc - 23-Oct-16 @ 4:01 AM
ihave been on police bail since May 2016 and now have no date to return for my bail this is causing me so much stress and i have attempted sucide several times because of this is this legal
caz54 - 21-Oct-16 @ 7:51 PM
Liz - Your Question:
My husband was arrested in December 2015, he has been on police bail without any charges since that time. Between that date and now he has been given conditions and a date to return to the station. However on the last two occasions he has just been told that there is know one to see him and currently has no date to return, therefore it would appear he is on bail indefinitely. Is this legal and are the police following procedures.

Our Response:
Currently, there is no limit to the length of time someone can be on precharge bail and there is no limit on the number of times a suspect can be re-bailed. While the government wishes to change this, is has not yet been decided upon.
CourtroomAdvice - 20-Oct-16 @ 11:09 AM
My husband was arrested in December 2015, he has been on police bail without any charges since that time.Between that date and now he has been given conditions and a date to return to the station.However on the last two occasions he has just been told that there is know one to see him and currently has no date to return, therefore it would appear he is on bail indefinitely.Is this legal and are the police following procedures.
Liz - 19-Oct-16 @ 12:22 PM
I was arrested for a racially aggravated common assault/beating. At the time of the alleged offence, I was nowhere near the place which was quickly proved. When questioned at the police station they would not tell me who/how/why my name had been given as the suspect. Inevitably the case has been dropped...but do I have any right to find out how I came to be arrested in the first place?
Wrongman - 19-Oct-16 @ 10:14 AM
Sydnathan - Your Question:
My boyfriend is 17 I'm 15 we had sex when I was 14 he was 16 the police found out, I denied everything. But he was told he couldn't talk to me anymore. I found out he cheated on me and I made him come to my house, an he did and my mum called the police and made him gogo custody they didnt say he was arrested just they were taking him to custody, what's going to happen.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot possibly answer this question as it is impossible to predict.
CourtroomAdvice - 12-Oct-16 @ 10:12 AM
My boyfriend is 17 I'm 15 we had sex when I was 14 he was 16 the police found out, I denied everything. But he was told he couldn't talk to me anymore. I found out he cheated on me and I made him come to my house, an he did and my mum called the police and made him gogo custody they didnt say he was arrested just they were taking him to custody, what's going to happen.
Sydnathan - 11-Oct-16 @ 8:21 AM
@Mandy - it's better to stay within the law. You could get into trouble as while a caution is not a criminal offence, it could turn into one if you don't keep to it. <3
Cass76 - 6-Oct-16 @ 9:59 AM
I was cautioned over this person I was seeing but since he has got in touch and asked me to go to the doctors will I get in trouble over this
Mandy - 5-Oct-16 @ 5:08 AM
Im 15 and i was teken into custody once earlier this summer for underage possesion of alcohol then i was let go to my parents. Then a month later the same thing happened again but they told my parents that I might be going to family court. Its been a little over a month and I still havent heard any word about anything. Am I in the Clear? And if not how long does the system have to relay the info of weather I have to go to court or not to me?
Feddywap - 5-Oct-16 @ 3:40 AM
My husband got arrested for suspicious of rape he's in bail waiting for court hearing,we were supposed go on holidays can he leave the country even if it doesn't say anything on his bail condition?
Kathy - 2-Oct-16 @ 3:25 AM
Ryerye - Your Question:
I was arrested because I wouldn't leave my gfs house because I spent all my time cleaning it and she spent all her time at her nans when they arrested me I ended up in Hosp with a kidney infection they have took my phone as evidence without telling me all I new was it was in the sealed bag that they put your stuff in when arrested they have also wrote my first name wrong on my bail sheet thy put Brian instead of ryan should I notify my solicitor or Is there anything I could do?

Our Response:
I don't quite know what you mean when you ask 'is there anything I could do?' The police may have made a mistake regarding your name, but you have little recourse to complain.
CourtroomAdvice - 29-Sep-16 @ 11:59 AM
Y - Your Question:
My nephew is 15 and has been arrested the police did not notify his mum straight away. When she got tithe police station she was told they are keeping him overnight but she was not given any information about the arrest. Can they do this? She has no information about what has happened she was told to go home and she will be contacted in the morning.

Our Response:
The police will try to contact the parent, guardian or carer if of the person if they are under 18 or a vulnerable adult. The police must also find an ‘appropriate adult’ to come to the station and be present during questioning and searching. You can see more via the gov.uk link here.
CourtroomAdvice - 29-Sep-16 @ 10:29 AM
I was arrested because I wouldn't leave my gfs house because I spent all my time cleaning it and she spent all her time at her nans when they arrested me I ended up in Hosp with a kidney infection they have took my phone as evidence without telling me all I new was it was in the sealed bag that they put your stuff in when arrested they have also wrote my first name wrong on my bail sheet thy put Brian instead of ryan should I notify my solicitor or Is there anything I could do?
Ryerye - 28-Sep-16 @ 10:12 AM
My nephew is 15 and has been arrested the police did not notify his mum straight away. When she got tithe police station she was told they are keeping him overnight but she was not given any information about the arrest. Can they do this?. She has no information about what has happened she was told to go home and she will be contacted in the morning.
Y - 28-Sep-16 @ 12:10 AM
Najz - Your Question:
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.

Our Response:
He possibly may have been on bail and the bail had conditions not to leave the country. However, this is purely supposition - you would have to ask your cousin directly.
CourtroomAdvice - 27-Sep-16 @ 9:57 AM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • buzz
    Re: What Happens at an Immigration Hearing?
    Immigration weren't even available with my tier1 trubunal judge just said immigration was off that day Thanks
    3 December 2016
  • buzz
    Re: What Happens at an Immigration Hearing?
    Hi I lost My Tribunal Case After Been In The Uk Nearly 12Years Now Have I Got Some Rights Or Will I Get Deported?…
    3 December 2016
  • FedUp
    Re: A Guide to Court Orders
    My cousin's husband has refused to sign a Financial Remedy Order that was agreed to in court with him present. He is now arguing terms in…
    3 December 2016
  • Bruce
    Re: Punishment & Rehabilitation
    I drove my girlfriend s car without telling her and I have no insurance and provisional driving licence the police stopped me…
    3 December 2016
  • Sammy
    Re: Investigation and Charge For An Offence
    My pertner has been arrested on suspicion of making a threat to kill I was present at the time the phone call was…
    3 December 2016
  • maqz
    Re: Victim Support After a Crime
    i v been abused i need death/// £150 west green rd mohammed m.alam islington beriol support 800£ deed
    2 December 2016
  • LAT
    Re: Crown Court Appeals
    My son was stabbed in May 2016 by two people known to him. My son is profoundly deaf and is speech is not always clear to people who don't…
    2 December 2016
  • Rinda
    Re: Why Was I Picked For Jury Service?
    I'm on jury service at present ,I've done 1 week going for my second next week .we have been looked after exceptionally…
    2 December 2016
  • CourtroomAdvice
    Re: Release on Home Detention Curfew
    Aria - Your Question:My partners currently in prison, he's had a tag date for April 16th 2017, but other prisoners have told…
    2 December 2016
  • mary
    Re: Police and Court Bail
    Hi my boyfriends probation officer phoned to confirm address with me n sed he was due to be realised was passing it on to his own town…
    2 December 2016
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the CourtroomAdvice website. Please read our Disclaimer.