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Your Rights on Arrest

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 26 May 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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I have looked after this elderly lady for the last 5 years in a care role but never anything on paper, I cared for her sister until she died,the lady has become more of a mum to me and part of our family, as her son has never bothered much with her due to a breakdown with his wife and his mum resulting in alot of bitterness,so much so that his wife is also abusive towards him,he had very little contact with his mum when she was alive. She sadly passed in March of this year, She has spent 2 christmases with us and would be very generous in buying us items from exspensive christmas presents to everyday like dishwasher,curtains,clothes etc I was treated like her daughter she never had and my husband more of a son than her real one. Soo many people knew how little he bothered with her she was on her own since losing her partner and if not for me she would see virtually no one ever, occasional community nurse or hairdresser that came to her home. I have been put in her will and left her craft stuff as we were both crafters, I have been accused of fraud-theft yesterday I went to the police station voluntarily and was given a formal caution during my interview with a duty solicitor present.. I have in the past wrote and signed cheques on her behalf with her full permission, as her handwriting would sometimes go wobberly due to arthritis and failing eyesight. I am now worried sick that during my interview I admitted that one of the cheques may have been me forgeing her signature a cheque made out to my husband, to install and pay for a shower enclosure and a disabled chair to be installed back last year, she was very proud and showed it off to everyone. I was also asked had I ever defrauded her,pressurised her and the lady policewoman made a comment that when she goes shopping she would spend about £30 yet a 86 year old lady would spend somtimes over £100, I had access to her bank cards as she would give them to me when she wanted money out and I would always give her the receipt! There was some occassions when she was in hospital I was given her card to do shopping, one time I went and shopped for lots of outdoor garden bits and lights to suprise her when she came out, my kids would make a bunting for her and sometimes we would have a little party buffet.She even paid for all of us to go on a cruise taking her with us of course as she was in a wheelchair, she went on the same cruise when her partner was alive, she was really really generous she loved us and we loved her. Basically do I have anything to worry about have been told my interview will now go to CPS for them to decide if a case needs to be answered, I admit it looks bad I have been painted as just a normal carer getting lots of gifts, her son and wife had gone to alot of trouble with pie charts,grafts copies of cheques 2 of them were to her grandchildren in their 30's with very shakey writing they were sent at christmas, and yes those cheques look different to the ones I wrote out, but I adm
Bella - 26-May-16 @ 8:57 PM
Arrested and detained in excess of 6 hours. Released on bail but 1st review not done. Returned to answer bail detained for further 2 hours - custody officer acknowledged 1st review had not been done however review still not done - rebailed. Returned to answer bail - no review but charged. When does my detention become unlawful?
chavez - 24-May-16 @ 5:35 AM
Can you be charged without being interviewed .
cal - 24-May-16 @ 1:18 AM
I was confronted at work Monday by a detective that he things I was doing things illegally, I plead guilty, he asked if I had my own car, I said yes,he told me to follow him to police station to get arrested I get there, noone talks to me, they take my finger prints and a picture, I write a statement to my boss, and was told I'm free to go...I wasn't given any charges paperwork, nor was told of any, never handcuffed or put in jail....was I really arresested, am I really being charged
Erikabadu - 16-May-16 @ 4:59 AM
@ANNONY - if it was for questioning the police can ask you to come to the station at any time. There's nothing illegal about this.
Ged76 - 13-May-16 @ 11:07 AM
In addition they seized my mobile phone? My union state that them wanting to arrest me and seizing my mobile phone was somewhat unnecessary.
ANNONY - 12-May-16 @ 11:54 AM
hI, I have been suspended from work following a safeguarding allegation. I have been suspended for over a month and as per the safeguarding of vulnerable adults policy, i am unable to be informed of the concerns/allegations. The police visited me yesterday and stated that was being arrested, i informed them that i had a hospital appointment and they then de arrested me and asked me to attend a local police station at a set time. Luckily i have a representative provided by my union who specialises in such circumstances. My question is why come to arrest me for questioning and the de-arrest me? what legalities are in place to support this? thanks in advance.
ANNONY - 12-May-16 @ 11:50 AM
Hi, my sister was arrested and has told us she has a court case coming soon but apart from saying she might go to prison hasn't told us anything else. Can we get a solicitor on her behalf? Will the police give us any info as family? Thanks in advance for any info or advice. S
S - 9-May-16 @ 1:50 PM
My case is complicated so I have attempted to break it down into separate relevant questions. 1) I have been falsely accused of domestic abuse by my parents who abducted my child four months ago, and despite the lack of evidence I have not been interviewed, assessed, and my requests to speak to the appointed social worker and her superiors have been denied but I have been advised by text or email I am not allowed to contact my daughter. I found out tbakelite and silver sunflower jewellery boxo days ago this has been a lie and I have had full PR at all times and my parents - who have blocked contact - have been acting illegally. A complaint is in place with the relevant authorities but is being stalled. Can I press charges against the social worker or my parents? I had a complaint in place against my local force after an incident of unlawful arrest, wrongful imprisomment and excessive use of force. My MP was handling it with my mothers assistance and after the MP it to Parliment I received a letter of apology from Theresa May, Home Secretary. The letter has been withheld from me, my solicitor has been informed I no longer wish her to act for me, my MP will not return my calls and I have found out he and the current PCC arranged for the complaint to be dropped in exchange for a Troubled Families grant (to my mother, not me) and this is why she has held my child and a blind eye has been turned by all parties for this reason. Who do I press charges against, and who do I complain to with such serious allegations, even though I have evidence etc? On discovering my child was being held illegally I asked my social workers manager how this had happened, what would happen to my child if I withdrew consent for her to be at her grandparents (I had consented because I did not want her in a council care home) and she informed me I could legally collect her at any time. I asked what would happen if I called the police. She did not reply. Yesterday two police officers came to my home and served me with an Intention to Arrest notice. My parents (or somebody) had contacted them and made false allegations of online harassment from myself, causing distress by texts and using social media, and stalking. THese allegations are utterly untrue but the officers told me they did not want to know, weren't there to question me, did not want to see evidence and had not visited my family or seen any evidence themselves but had been told to visit me. When I questioned the legality of this they became aggressive and shouted at me. I have a mental illness and was alone and was very frightened. I asked if I could call my husband and they left quite quickly but told me they were only awaiting a call and when word came they would be back to arrest me and take me away. Is this legal? Can I be arrested on hearsay? Do I have any rights with regards to thefalse allegations that have now ruined my life for four months? I did not sign the notice paper but I did not refuse. The off
MrsP - 1-May-16 @ 7:43 PM
i was in a cafe with some friends and 2 girls approached us and asked if we had vehicles and if we could take them out we told them that we did not have vehicles and they went out to ask other people i said something to my friend and the girls came back in and confronted me about what is said i at first i tried to avoid a argument with them so i told them i did not say anything but they were very annoying so we got into a verbal argument and they kept making a scene so me and my friends left and waited for another friend out sidethe cafe the my friend has arrived and the police arrive at the same time it turned out the girls had called the police and said that i had threatend to slap her and they were scared and with no further investigation 2 mins upon arrival the police handcuff me and put me in a van and take me to custody for several hours but the girls did not even get in trouble and they were the ones that came back into the shop starting an argument i also the statements of the two girls were taken but my friends were not given the opportunity to give a statement because the police said it would be biased (the two girls were friends and they were allowed to give statements)the situation has made me feel very depressed because i tried twice to avoid the confrontation and i still got arrested and it is a complete waist of my time i have to go back to the police station and see if i get charged.
fedsa - 26-Apr-16 @ 10:59 PM
i was in a cafe with some friends and 2 girls approached us and asked if we had vehicles and if we could take them out we told them that we did not have vehicles and they went out to ask other people i said something to my friend and the girls came back in and confronted me about what is said i at first i tried to avoid a argument with them so i told them i did not say anything but they were very annoying so we got into a verbal argument and they kept making a scene so me and my friends left and waited for another friend out sidethe cafe the my friend has arrived and the police arrive at the same time it turned out the girls had called the police and said that i had threatend to slap her and they were scared and with no further investigation 2 mins upon arrival the police handcuff me and put me in a van and take me to custody for several hours but the girls did not even get in trouble and they were the ones that came back into the shop starting an argument i also the statements of the two girls were taken but my friends were not given the opportunity to give a statement because the police said it would be biased (the two girls were friends and they were allowed to give statements)the situation has made me feel very depressed because i tried twice to avoid the confrontation and i still got arrested and it is a complete waist of my time i have to go back to the police station and see if i get charged.
fedsa - 26-Apr-16 @ 2:50 PM
Lisa - Your Question:
Hi. Please help!! An incident happened with my boyfriend and his sister which could be seen as domestic violence. The police was called by my mother and both my boyfriend and his sister were arrested. They have told my boyfriend not to contact me. It's been a week since this has happened, I haven't seen or spoken to him. We work together and I think he's spoken to the manager (which is his dad) and he's now working from home as he is not allowed to be in any contact with me. I have heard from a mutual friend that he seems as though he want to reconcile but he's been told by the police not to contact me. I've also been told by the police not to contact him, but I have done and I've had no response from him. It's killing me. I have retracted my statement, I also didn't provide any evidence such as pictures, there is no cctv in the hotel (as the incident happened in a hotel). What I want to know is how long these things usually take, I've been told it wouldn't matter if I retract my statement as it can still go to court. How long would it take for me to hear from them, whether the case will be dropped or I will be attending court ?

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot predict how long this may take. An investigation does not have a set time scale and can take only a few hours, weeks or months. However, you will continue to be updated regarding the progress in the case. The CPS will always try to protect the victim of abuse and therefore will make a decision to prosecute regardless of whether you have retracted your statement. In addition you must also uphold the terms of his bail as it could land your boyfriend in further trouble if he responds.
CourtroomAdvice - 25-Apr-16 @ 2:25 PM
Hi. Please help!! An incident happened with my boyfriend and his sister which could be seen as domestic violence. The police was called by my mother and both my boyfriend and his sister were arrested. They have told my boyfriend not to contact me. It's been a week since this has happened, I haven't seen or spoken to him.. We work together and I think he's spoken to the manager (which is his dad) and he's now working from home as he is not allowed to be in any contact with me. I have heard from a mutual friend that he seems as though he want to reconcile but he's been told by the police not to contact me.. I've also been told by the police not to contact him, but I have done and I've had no response from him. It's killing me. I have retracted my statement, I also didn't provide any evidence such as pictures, there is no cctv in the hotel (as the incident happened in a hotel).. What I want to know is how long these things usually take, I've been told it wouldn't matter if I retract my statement as it can still go to court. How long would it take for me to hear from them, whether the case will be dropped or I will be attending court ?
Lisa - 22-Apr-16 @ 10:05 AM
my son attended a voluntary interview in december 2015 ,,this week he has recieved a summons to court charging him with assaut by beating section 39 ...what is going on?? can the police leave an incident for this length of time before charging anyone
confused - 18-Apr-16 @ 5:15 PM
sir my brother called for inquiry in PS on mobile.He went to PS on SI call but after seven days,police is not getting left him and neither meet him nor give any information about him.Yesterday they have bring his mobile and taken my signature on almost 12 blank pages.Please tell me what to and what can be happen with my brother
aman - 11-Apr-16 @ 1:32 PM
Cal - Your Question:
I'm on bail until my court date do I carry on my bail after court?

Our Response:
You are classed as ‘on bail’ until your court appearance. However, it depends on what court you are appearing in and what the court decides on the day.
CourtroomAdvice - 4-Apr-16 @ 11:13 AM
I'm on bail until my court date do I carry on my bail after court?
Cal - 3-Apr-16 @ 8:18 AM
Hello! everyone out here,I am James Williamfrom Portland Oregon United state.It has been my desire to help people out with their problems no matter how little my contribution may be. As regards to the promise i made to BABA ARUOSA if he could help me get back my girlfriend,i'm using this means to fulfill my promise and also let everybody know there's solution to your problem no matter how difficult you think it is okay. I loved a girl for more than 2 years and she told me she was going to marry me.But she would change her mind and tell me she didn't love me anymore and was seeing a guy,which i found out.I begged her to accept me and also tried every means possible to make her know i can't live without her because i really love her but she would pay deaf ears to me. We were working in the same company and each time i see her,i wish all this weren't happening.This pain continued till a friend of mine led me to BABA ARUOSA whom he told me was very extremely powerful and has helped with a problem. Soon as i contacted him,i knew he was the exact answer to my solution because i felt his powers from his carefully selected words and calmness.I explain all that happened to me and he told me what to do.I did as i was instructed and never doubted him.To my greatest surprise what i felt was almost impossible within the twinkle of an eyes was over. She called me pleading for my forgiveness for how she has treated me and that she loves me so much and will never cheat on me again and will marry me.And from that moment till now all we've been experiencing is happiness in our relationship.We'll be getting married soon........lol I would advice anyone with problem to contact him via email : templeofsupernaturalcontact(at)gmail(dot)com for his help.
james2267 - 28-Mar-16 @ 1:46 AM
When arrested police demand that you stop recording them, what is the legal basis that provents a citizen from recording if they are arrested?
Monty - 24-Mar-16 @ 2:35 PM
sal - Your Question:
I was interviewed for a crime that happened a yr ago police said they had my DNA that took a yr to get back. I'm being accused of breaking into a business but nothing was taken. After the interview I was released and told I may have a warrant is this possible

Our Response:
It is possible if the CPS thinks there is evidence enough to charge you.
CourtroomAdvice - 22-Mar-16 @ 2:15 PM
I was interviewed for a crime that happened a yr ago police said they had my DNA that took a yr to get back. I'm being accused of breaking into a business but nothing was taken. After the interview I was released and told I may have a warrant is this possible
sal - 22-Mar-16 @ 9:45 AM
i have been charged with common assult after the police came and my ex girlfriend said i pushed her.she and me work in the same place.i just saw her with another guy at work.i just shouted at her. she said to police that i grabbed her hand i shouted at her.there were no cctv recorded no witness. i am going to magistrates court soon.what will court decide on my issue?
Godry - 19-Mar-16 @ 8:07 PM
Police came to arrest me today to my surprise! With 3 warrants for my arrest! On £75 fines. One of which was discribed as i had apparntly must of texted , messaged or email a person a offensive message. I have no clue to which any of these warrants are set on me! As i havnt done the crimes . I broke crying and shaking with my son in my arms the police officer could see i was in distress and being honest here and has informed me togo my lical distract court and he would atrest me and i was to tryand sortthis out as i had children in the house. Someone clearly has used mu name ! They have gave me the details i need but i never recieved any letters saying i had fines! I could of queryedthis ealier on! It doesnt make sense as the police couldnt put an address to these fines or compliants help please.
Kerryr - 16-Mar-16 @ 5:40 PM
If on suspense sentence will l get bail from police station if charge?
chance - 15-Mar-16 @ 8:00 PM
Was arrest the other night cant remember nothing was drunk next day woke up.in police station not been charge yet could not be interview as l deaf need intper have go back on another date on bail at the moment duty solicitor was there said brift as police wont say nothing as not be interview yet thst l made hand sign of shot ans threat to shot as well urine against a wall and try get in building that was a bus garage make it worse l cant remember none of this as was drunk and on a suspense sentence if do get charge when go police station it there chance l not get bail? And have to go straight to court?
chance - 15-Mar-16 @ 7:56 PM
also the fine says i am issued fine under the section 89(2) of the police act 1996 , is this right ?
kel - 12-Mar-16 @ 6:03 PM
Hi , Police came to my flat looking for my boyfriend and i said he wasnt there and then they asked if they could come in and check ? and they found my boyfriend hiding in my bathroom . The police officer then arrested me , handcuffed me and put me in a cell for 7 1/2 hours then gave me a £90 fine for apparently " obstructing a constable in the exeartion of his duty " . I have never been arrested before and even at the station the seargant said " why is she here she let you in ? " and he contacted the officer in charge of my boyfriends arrest ( which he is actually being accussed of something which has nothing what so ever to do with him ) and they said we keeping her here incase something is found in flat which she will also be charged with " . I had a trapped nerve in my neck and was begging for painkillers which they ignored me and i missed an appointment for GP to discuss neck with them because i was put in a cell for nothing ? can someone please give me an opionion on this as i have been so down and distressed by this whole experience . Thank you
kel - 12-Mar-16 @ 5:40 PM
My ex partner is on drugs he.s been arrested a few times for dealing he was arrested outside my house he had met a dealer and got a few deal off him but the police caught him giving them to someone the dealer saw this knocked my door to ask if he could come in I said no and took him out of my block and went to see what was happening but before I could walk out the police arrested me the boy and my ex friend who was waiting to get gear off Paul but my x told police he.d just came from mine so they raided my house found nothing and I was in cell and they came and told doc said they couldn't keep me I'm to I'll on bail till a couple of month I couldn't go I was ill I haven't heard anything since but x was in court the other day with the boy being charged for Co d in the supply of 2000 pounds worth boy trying to say the x made him carry the stuff my x ain't a dealer hems just a sick user I'm worried they will both try and say it something to do with me even if I haven't been charged with nothing but they ain't na me what and how can I find out if I could be in trouble with them because the only reason my x gave my address was because he had dealers in his own property
lol - 10-Mar-16 @ 2:53 PM
There is A LOT of history leading up to this matter, however the immediate concern, is that via the limited advice that I have been able to obtain, I believe that I was unlawfully arrested. I shall try to be as brief as possible and avoid digressing from the main subject of this comment. I was arrested earlier this year for more false accusations made by my previous landlord, after an ongoing issue in which I stood up for my legal rights and was subject to constant abuse by the aforementioned for doing so. One morning, I rang their bell, as my previous housemate had informed me that they apparently wished to gain access to my room for a check. This is just a rouse, of which they tried many times. The conversation started off fairly ok with the landlady, however as soon as her husband, the landlord, made his appearance, as usual an arguement ensued. But as always I kept my cool. The landlady had yet again called the police, who I might add at this point, after my repeated compaints of harassment they did NOTHING and I even had one of them try to tell me that harassment was not a criminal offence. Until I put him in his place, of which he did not like and rather quickly retracted his previous statement. Anyway, she closed the door after much insult at which point I tried to call the police, but had no credit on my phone. I had a rather urgent appointment that morning at 10am so left early to make it in time, due to roadworks and the time of day. I called the police from a public telephone at approximately 9:50am, but was put on hold. I had to end the call and make my way to said appointment. It was after this that I once again made a call and finally got to speak to someone, who would not take my statement for harassment. I stated that I would be back shortly and arranged to meet the police there, who did not turn up for a few hours. They came in and I explained what had happened again and they asked if I could come to the station to make a statement, which I obliged and made no contest. After I got in their car, it was then that I was arrested. The officer did not identify himself nor did he explain the reasons why arrest was necessary. He also said arrested for not allegations of. I have been informed that due to not only the nature of the alleged offence, but the fact that I was under false pretences asked to give a statement and subsequently arrested by the unlawful restriction of my person, that this case should be dropped and that action against the police be taken. I am to appear in court next week for this case, which has been ongoing for months now and it is my belief, that I am being maliciously prosecuted. I now have reservations regarding the firm that are "representing" me and I'm leaning towards the fact that they do not have my best interests in hand. Actually I believe serious concerns would be more apt. Namely that I have since the start of this complete nonsense, requested the times of
disgruntled - 4-Mar-16 @ 4:17 AM
gazza - Your Question:
Me and my friend went to steal 2 bikes, he managed to get his an I tried forcing the person I tried taking the bike of with only verbal abuse, (this happened last year an has only know come up) I then brought the bike he stole 4 days after knowing it was stolen, I have proof I did not steal the bike as I'm on CCTV running away from the scene is there anything else I could tell the police which proves I did not take the bike but intended to without dropping my friend in it?? or any tips you can give me for my interview or anything I should know before going in an also trying not to get my friend in so much trouble. also it is my first charge against me from the police

Our Response:
You are implicated by both being on CCTV at the scene of the crime and handling stolen goods, which is also a criminal offence, and if found guilty of the offence you will be prosecuted. To be guilty of the offence of handling stolen goods under the Theft Act you must either know that the goods are stolen or believe them to be stolen at the time of handling the goods. I couldn't advise what to say regarding the evidence the police have, this is beyond our remit.
CourtroomAdvice - 25-Feb-16 @ 10:17 AM
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