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
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.
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.
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.
My ex girlfriend had me arrested on a false alligation of assault and I was released without charge. I now want to take action against her for this I`ve been told dpn`t bother but want to let her know she can`t get away doing that without paying for her actions. What can I do?
bobbyhotfoot - 10-May-13 @ 11:56 AM
my wife has run off with my kids and i dont know where they are can i have her for kidnapping as we are going through a divorce and my not turn up at court
sean - 8-May-13 @ 1:13 PM
Got 3 month old baby split up with the mrs and went to see him one day about 5 days after we broke up and ended up sleeping with my baby mother and after she said she dont wanna be with me so I said im gunna go solicitors on monday for acess to my son and she said she will ring the police and tell them I raped her if I do so she has rang them I was niked last night was in cell for hows got out on bail with condissions till may 15 we had sex ovo my dna all over her but what can I do
byson ben - 8-Apr-13 @ 2:27 PM
My brother-in -law was accused of sexual abuse. He says he is totally innocent.. He was questioned by the police and released without charge The case has been put back 3 times. Now he has to report to the police station with
his solicitor.Does this mean he will be charged?
sillygirl - 11-Mar-13 @ 2:23 AM
Hi, any advise can the police re open a case that the cps has dropped
the assessor - 8-Mar-13 @ 10:05 AM
I fought with my wife an stepson while away in holiday abroad was arrested and taken to police station then they wanted my passport long story but lost they made a report and asked me questions an then told I can go.i was sent to high commission to get emergency travel documents an heading home today can I be arrested and charged in uk for this even if no charges were made abroad???
bill - 19-Feb-13 @ 3:00 PM
i got arrested for burgulry and they took my van. i then got bailand still havent got my van back. basicaly i puld over down sum backs 2pm athernoon coz a needed the toilet and thers wuz a steal barrel on a plot of land that has bin abandond for years only half the fench remanes, so i put it on my van. i did not break or force my way into the plot of land simply walked on. wil i get my van back at all if i am charged with it and wot am i likely to get for this. itsa complete joke and fink if they put half the effort in for catch rapeist and kidy fiddlers then we wud b alot safer as a nation
shaky - 15-Feb-13 @ 10:56 PM
My ex accused me of rape I was bailed n told not to contact her or our son only via. Third party can I see my boy she accuses me of this even tho she has sent naked pictures and flithy texts now I am on bail she has contacted me again. Sending a picture of our boy in her new home I feel she ha done this to hurt me and to bait. Me into breaking bail what can I do
chippy1983 - 3-Feb-13 @ 7:55 PM
I sent a few emails of a none threatening nature to a woman I work with. The Police wanted to question me. She contacted the Police on the 20th Dec. Yet they only arrested me at midday about a month later. I would have been quiet happy to have gone the Police station voluntarily.
The arrest happend in a workplace in frount of guests. I was put in a cell about 2:30 and no one bothered to interview me until 8pm in the evening. I admitted my guilt and my solictor said that I would probably get a caution. I was put back in my cell at 9pm. It was at 1am in the morning 4 hours later they said they where going to charge me and take me to court. I was told the reason behind this was that they saw me a threat to the public. If this was the case why had they taken 4 weeks to arrest me. I have never been arrested for a violent act of any kind. Do they really think after being in the cell I would walk out on to the streets and cause a riot?
I was then put back in a cell with Custody Officers shining lights in my faces distrupting what little sleep I could get. How was I suppose to properly defend myself. I then went to the magistrates court where I was in another cell for 3 hours. By the time I reached court I was in tears. My defence Solictor could see that I had mental health issuses.
In total I spent 24 hours in custody, this was a bloody disgrace.
gray - 22-Jan-13 @ 9:58 PM
my partner was arrested for something he didnt do, as at the time of this offence he was with me at home, the police kept him for 48 hours, then he was due in court the following morning, he was given bail, no police came for my statement as i know he was with me at the time this offence took place,he was then re-arrested kept for 48 hours, then back up in court, he was refused bail and sent to prison for 7 days, on the 7th day he was to appear at court again, he was then again refused bail, and sent back to jail for another 7 days,due back again on the 7th day, i have asked why this has happened and they wont tell me anything, i have not heard anything from him , and i dont know what to do,
fee fee73 - 28-Dec-12 @ 9:15 PM
I was arrested 2 years ago the police dropped the charges and decided not to investigate any further. Then a officer that knows my ex decided to reopen the case and charge me ( this being a officer that has arrested me on 20 occasions because of false allegations made by my ex) I now have a trial date .....i was arrested in 2011 and the trial is not going to be until 2013 ................
So my question is even if i am found guilty of this fit up because the trial is so long after the offence is it possible to be put in prison in the uk ?
The charge is harrasment ( Texting 1 time a day asking how my daughter is or calling)
And burgulry my ex claims i stole a picture of our daughter out her house there is no forensic evidence or anything like that however my solicitor has said be prepared for prison ????
But a friend of mine said because the trial is taking place so long after the arrest i cant be put in prison even if found guilty ???
simpleton - 3-Dec-12 @ 8:22 PM
For god sake, get a Court action started as asap, sue the ....ards for compensation.it is happening all over this country because the PO PO's think they can get away with murder. They seem to be a law unto themselves, and I for one who have successfully sued these idiots, would have started litigation the following day.
DAVID against GOLIAT - 18-Nov-12 @ 4:10 PM
i was aressted for a fight nearly 2 years ago, i was left in a cell for 7/8 hours with a head injury. i was seen by a police officer the following morning who noticed my injuryand called a ambulance. The paramedics blue lighted me to a local hospital, where i was seen to and x rayed for a number of hours while being held by 2 police officers. I was released back to the police station and told to go to another hospital the next day. Back at the police station they put me in a cell that had cctv and called the police doctor, who was shocked at the way i was treated and told me to sue the police! I wasgiven a NFA and went on my way, but since then i have undergone 2 ops on my head and lost a lot of money taking days of work to vist the doctors/hospital. so im thinking i might take this further???
lambo - 1-Nov-12 @ 1:53 AM
i was aressted for a fight nearly 2 years ago, i was left in a cell for 7/8 hours with a head injury. i was seen by a police officer the following morning who noticed my injuryand called a ambulance. The paramedics blue lighted me to a local hospital, where i was seen to and x rayed for a number of hours while being held by 2 police officers. I was released back to the police station and told to go to another hospital the next day. Back at the police station they put me in a cell that had cctv and called the police doctor, who was shocked at the way i was treated and told me to sue the police! I was not given a NFA and went on my way, but since then i have undergone 2 ops on my head and lost a lot of money taking days of work to vist the doctors/hospital. so im thinking i might take this further???
lambo - 1-Nov-12 @ 1:49 AM
If I think I am being investagated by the police with my ex employer if I call the police and ask do they have to tell me.
Frs - 19-Sep-12 @ 5:04 PM
I have listened to the UK Police Arrest Caution many times on TV and each time I ask myself what it REALLY means, but I cannot fathom it no matter how much I think about it.
And if I can't get to what it REALLY means I suspect that many, many others have the same problem.
I thought I would just be able to Google a question and get a sensible answer but this has utterly failed.
When I closely read the words, the best understanding that I can come to is that an arrestee MUST reveal the WHOLE of his potential defence WHENEVER he is questioned by the Police;if he does not reveal the WHOLE of his potential defence at, e.g., the first questioning then there will be a PRESUMPTION AGAINST HIS INNOCENCE when he appears in court.
I sincerely hope that this is not what it REALLY means for it would run counter to the principle of fairness that I naively like to believe has been established as the core of our legal system over many centuries.
More than this (as if that wasn't enough) I note that this Arrest Caution is very often delivered to people who are emotionally extremely distressed or who are mentally severely impaired through drugs (including alcohol), or whose first language is not English, and who therefore cannot hope to understand what it means even if it did have some clear meaning;this too runs counter to any reasonable concept of fairness within our legal system.
Can someone tell me in simple words what the REAL meaning of the UK Police Arrest Caution actually is?
Can someone tell me if the Caution has any legal validity if it is delivered to a person who cannot hope to understand it at the time of its delivery (or, very likely, at any time), notwithstanding that they may answer 'yes' when asked if they understand?
kcod - 19-Sep-12 @ 10:19 AM
i have read one of these comments about how a person has been examined by a doctor i dont understand why or how they are examined, i thought that only happens in hospital or doctors surgery, so do they mean examine a certain injury, a chat, or is it a routine all over medical examination.
chrissy - 28-Aug-12 @ 7:16 PM
1: The police have CCTV cameras in their cells, are they keep as custody records?
2: How long are they kept for?
3:What are the CCTV cameras for?
Lucky - 13-Aug-12 @ 1:59 AM
Sir or Madam, I was arrested and taken to a police station and charged with Child Cruelty, my husband had notified the authorities, and my two children from this marriage were taken in to care, I was given one hour twice a week to see them, in the charges it says that my husband KNEW about the things I was charged with, he knew that medication had to be given, and that there were different dosages but only that prescribed at the time should be given, I have tried to convince who ever that it was possible for him to swap the medication so I gave the wrong dosage either higher or lower, this is because of the Stress that he had caused me, by moving with what was our friend and building a case against me using another friends case, he had full access to, I have been stressed to breaking point with this, and he is laughing at me, his intentions are to divorce me, then marry his girl friend and try and get full custody of the two children, I have done all things asked of me by courts etc, as said he could have changed the prescriptions around,if this is the case, surely if there is or was a crime of child cruelty, he is equally to blame because he did nothing to question what I was or was not doing< he contrived a case against me to get the children into his custody and me locked up etc. SOME ONE HELP ME PLEASE
Grumpy one - 5-Aug-12 @ 3:50 PM
How much time do i have to sue a cop forbrutality in alberta the charged was resisting arrest that i won on my own in court??
lance - 25-Jul-12 @ 6:14 PM
I a vulnerable adult a victim of abuse at a hostel that i was relocated to for my own Protection, a hostel for vulnerable adults feeling violence who suffered mental Health problema where i was subjected to verbale and mental abuse by staff.
On 30th Jan 2010 i went to my doctors with recordings og this abuse, a referal was made to Newcastle Social Services as a vulnerable adult being victsmided and bullied at the hostel.
In Feb 2010 i was told I was not suitable at the hostel and gave ma a date to vacate, I became homeless in Febuary 2010 in which i spent 17 months living homeless as a vulnerable adult and on Jan 2011 Shelter helped me complete a form for DLA I receive high rate for care and lies rate mobility since Jan 2011.
The EHRC in a letter date Oct 2010 said the police were in violation of Article 3 by subjecting me to pshychological abuse that I needs to find a human rights lawyer. I had lotsof police complaint submitted to The IPCC with serious issues failing to protect a child, refusing to.arrested those gulity of conspirscy with imtemt after I became the victim of a serious knife crime lettera disfigued for life.
In Nov 2010 at around-the-clock 18:00 I was arrested by police for harassment of the manager of the hostel that i was subjected to abuse, I was taken to a police station and asked for the firm who said they would help with my human rights, A repeesentitve cane out who i never met who should have been amare that I was a vulnerable adult and codes of practice state an appropriate adult should be prrsent However no appropriate adult was there and my solocitor told me not to answer questions say no comment
At 04:30 i was charged with harassnent and refused bail, I was detained in custody were i was refused medication, or any food or water, insted i was pshychologically abused and I am a suicide risk, this abus resulted in me running and diving head-on first on to the cover of the toilete that was,concrete trying to kill myself until police hard the loud thuds and realised what're i was doing, I was put in suicide watch Athough i had head injurirs and should have been taking to hospital, I remained in the cell until the next day getting no sleap and feeling unwell
I was put in the transport van were i was drifting in and out of concousnes and found myself on the floor at a police station, i was carried into a cell where i fell asleap. Next things I remember was being carried up the stairs half unconsuous and into a court room when rally I should have been taken to hospital.
My legal representitive told me to plead gulity to an offence i had not commited bit i was so desperate to get out of police custody so i did plead gulity thinking it would sort itselfoutover.time bit it never
I received an email saying the appiontment arranged re police complain had been camcled as they could not assist me with my complaints
In court the judge asked why was this man ingront of him when all i had done was ask
anton - 18-Jul-12 @ 1:56 PM
I was arrested for three offences but only charged with one i am pleading not guilty when its my trail are they allowed to mentoin the other two charges during my trail
nelly - 12-Jul-12 @ 11:57 AM
I was arrested for drink driven and taken to the police station and charged with been over the limit then i was asked to sign a charge sheet and the release with out a copy of the charges
Is this legal?
Bruno - 2-Jul-12 @ 1:30 PM
i was arested and charged with sepply of class a drugs but dident go back to court will the case still go ahead without me being there.
daz - 20-Jun-12 @ 1:48 PM
My son has mental health problems. He was arrested and the police doctor decided he needed an appropriate adult. The police arranged for me to be his appropriate adult. I was present for him being booked in and for his interview. I was phoned later and asked to attend the police station because he was to be charged. When I got there he had already been charged. I think this is wrong is there anything I can do about this?
Lou - 18-Jun-12 @ 12:28 PM
hi im just injuiring i have two preveasse convictions on stealing clothes,i suffer alot with depression i got help and conciling ,i tryed to comite suiced after the second conviction,i cant ruin my family name,my parents would this owned me,how can ikeep it from going to court please help.
blackie - 9-May-12 @ 2:07 PM
i was arrested by the police and i told the custody sergeant i had a mental health problem, they only had me assest by a nurse not a doctor can they do this? I told the nurse i had a mental health problem. i thought it had to be a Forensic Medical Examiner that examined me? They did not tell me anything about been able to have an appropriate adult, they searched me and questioned me with out an approriate adult present. I was bailed.
when i answered my bail i asked to see the police code of practice and signed saying i asked to see it, however the police never showed me this, i was in custody for 4.5 hrs and could not be questioned because the could not get an Appropriate Adult. Again they searched me without an appropriate adult been present, i pointed out that i thought an appropriate adult had to be present when i was searched. this time however they insured i have been examined by a Forensic Medical Examiner, i was re-bailed.
I asked if when i attend my next bail will i have to be examined by a a Forensic Medical Examiner, they have said no is this correct?
dave - 5-Mar-12 @ 9:13 PM
i was almost arrested from my home after i bit an ex partner on the arm to stop him sufforcating me in an extremely tight headlock.my daughter heard the scuffle and ran almost came into the room, as i took her back upstairs quickly he called the police to report me for biting his arm, they came and has said i'm under arrest for common assult and that my children have to stay with this guywhile they take me to the station. when i refused to leave him in my home with my 3yr old and14yr old girls they were confused and asked me why don't i feel he can stay or they will call social services to come and take my girls into care while i be taken into custody. i then explained that this person was just visiting and not even british but visiting from abroard and had come for the day to return to his family in london then they changed their mind and decided to right down the events in thier note pad and not once did they ask to see where he had or if he had hurt or injured me they took his side and had also said that i was previously arrested in 2009 but they refused to tell me what 4 because i had never been arrested but the officer had insisted that i was. they said i have been coutioned and that i will recieve a letter saying when to attened court also the man who attecked me has been messaging about making sure he get me convicted. does this mean i will lose my children and because he was quicker than me to call police i will be most certainly charged for common assult even though it was eighter he sufforcates me to death or i bite him to release myself how is this fair. also being a black female and him self a mixed raced apperance i felt discrimitated agaist because i was the darker and bigger person. can someone let me know what do i have to expect to happen next and also my plans to start nursing in uni seem completely demollished now that i have this on me
james - 1-Feb-12 @ 3:35 PM
If you leave the county and the police havent pulled you in for questioning then what is the protocol?
ANNYHEAD - 1-Dec-11 @ 4:08 PM
I was arrested on the basis I looked like a person on a photo from a cctv camera .the person in question was seen taking a purse from a pram .In fact I wasquote " positively identified " Firstly the person in question was at least 10 years older than me and thinner , my solicitor saw this straight away and also Iexplained that on the date of the crimeI was working abroad ( I live and work in France I was back in England looking after my mother for a few days ) I was eventually released without charges at about 22.00.However I was arrested about 12.30 and the police DID NOT send for a solicitor until after 19.00 although I said I wanted one when I was arrested .? So I wish to know is it normal to wait so long for a solicitor ? for a charge of theft ?
thanking you in advance