Access to free legal advice
You have the right to free legal advice if you are arrested and interviewed at a police station.
We offer 24-hour emergency service and representation for clients who have been arrested or contacted by the police and asked to attend the police station to be questioned. You have the right to choose your own solicitor rather than a duty solicitor the police may offer you. Please call us on 02076244300 and we can assist you throughout the process. We are based in London, but we can arrange representation in England and Wales.
We offer advice and representation for a variety of offences from summary to indictable only offences, including:
What are my rights?
The custody officer must explain that you have the right to:
· Get free legal advice;
· Tell someone where you are;
· Have medical help if you’re unwell;
· See the rules the police must follow ‘Codes of Practice’;
· See a written notice telling you about your rights such as regular breaks for food and to use the toilet;
· You are entitled to an interpreter or signer.
What will happen at the police station?
You will be booked in custody, by a custody officer. Your rights will be read and given to you. You will be held in a cell until a police officer has been assigned to you for an interview regarding the alleged allegation.
You will be interviewed once an officer in your case has been assigned and ready to interview. You will be interviewed and questioned in relation to the allegation. This can be a very overwhelming process; however, we aim to make sure your police station experience is not complicated.
However, before the interview takes place, you will have a consultation with one of our solicitors.
Voluntary police interview under caution
The police may invite you attend the police station voluntarily to question you in relation to a criminal offence under caution. It is important to note you are not under arrest and you do not have to consent to being interviewed.
You are free to leave at any time unless you are arrested.
How long will I be there?
You should not be kept in the police station for more than 24 hours without being charged.
For serious crimes such as murder or rape, the police can apply to hold you for up to 36 or 96 hours.
Under the Terrorism Act, you can be held in custody without charge for up to 14 days.
After you have been arrested or interviewed?
No Further Action
- means that the police are not taking any further action against you in respect of the allegations against you. No further action is where there is not enough evidence to send the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for them to prosecute, and therefore the decision has been made to not take the investigation further, i.e. lack of evidence to proceed with a charging decision.
Released Under Investigation
- This has no time limits or conditions. Full consideration will be given to all the evidence relevant to your case. You may be re-arrested if new evidence comes to light and a prosecution may still occur. Please note that you may be contacted by the police officer in your case to be interviewed, or you may receive a postal requisition in the post in relation to this case, which is a summons/charge to your case to attend court.
- The police will send your case to CPS or ERO to decide on whether to charge you with the offence. If charged you will be given a charge sheet with the details of the crime you’re charged with. For more serious crimes, you can be remanded into custody until your court date or may appeal in court the next day.
Receiving a caution
- Accepting a caution means that you have admitted to committing the crime you have been arrested for. By accepting a caution, you will not be imprisoned. A caution will be on your criminal record.
Bail to Return
- There is no obligation to return to the station on a date to be confirmed. The police usually release a suspect whilst further investigations are carried out or advice is sought from the Crown Prosecution as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge.
- It is a criminal offence to not return to the police station when required to do so, you can be charged in circumstances, and this may also have an impact on whether or not you continue to have bail should you be charged.
Going to hospital under the Mental Health Act
- S136 allows the police to take you to keep you at a place of safety. They can do this without a warrant if:
- you appear to have a mental disorder;
- you are in any place other than a house, flat or room where a person is living, or garden or garage that only one household has access to;
- You are ‘in need of immediate care or control’ (meaning the police think it is necessary to keep you or others safe).
Before using section 136 the police must consult a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse or an AMHP occupational therapist or paramedic.
- There are no rights to appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal if you are taken to (or kept at) a place of safety under sections 135 or 136
Under 18 and Vulnerable adults
The police must contact your parent, guardian, or carer.
Call us immediately for representation and advice on our emergency number 07956308127.