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What Happens When You Have Been Arrested?

What Happens When You Have Been Arrested?

1. The arrest process

If you have been arrested by the police you will usually be taken to a police station. You will be held in custody in a cell and then questioned.

Free legal advice is available to those in custody 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. If you are detained you should always exercise your right to free legal advice and should never be interviewed without your solicitor being present. You can request a specific solicitor and do not have to use whoever is on duty.

After questioning you will be released or charged with a crime.

If you would like to speak to one of IBB’s criminal defence solicitors please call 0330 999 4999.

2.Your rights while in police custody

Your rights must be explained to you by your custody officer at the police station – who will also provide you with a written version. The police must follow a code of practice when dealing with detainees. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 codes of practice regulate police powers and protect public rights.

You can only be detained for 24 hours unless the police apply for an extension. After 24 hours the police must charge or release you. You have the right to be kept in reasonable conditions and to be provided with food and drinks.

Details of the code can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/police-and-criminal-evidence-act-1984-pace-codes-of-practice

While in custody you have the following rights:

  • Access to free legal advice and representation
  • Tell a family member or friend where you are
  • Access to medical help if you require it
  • Access to food and toilet breaks

For more information on your rights and entitlements while in police custody please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/notice-of-rights-and-entitlements-a-persons-rights-in-police-detention

The above information is available in multiple languages.

While in custody you will be searched and your possessions will be stored while you are in the cell.

3. The situation regarding young people and vulnerable adults

If you are under 18 or a vulnerable adult, the police will contact your parent or guardian or attempt to do so. The police must also find an “appropriate adult” to be present with you at the station and provide support and advice during searching and questioning.

An appropriate adult can be:

  • A parent, guardian or carer
  • A social worker
  • Another family member or friend aged 18+
  • A volunteer aged 18+

For more information on appropriate adult services in England and Wales please refer to The National Appropriate Adult Network.

4. Your rights during questioning

If the police question you during custody, they must read you the following caution at the start:

“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court”.

  • You may be questioned by police while in custody and this will be recorded.
  • You do not have to answer any questions asked, however there may be consequences if you do not answer.

5. Making a phone call

Legal restrictions apply to phone calls in custody suites.

  • You have the right for a family member or friend to be notified of your detention (except in special circumstances)
  • You will usually be allowed to make a phone call in order to arrange transport after being released
  • You have the right for an appropriate adult to be contacted if they are under 18 years of age or a vulnerable adult. The police will contact the appropriate adult directly.

6. Restrictions on releasing information to other parties

Data protection and privacy laws prevent details of your arrest and detention being released to anyone over the phone, in person or other method. The exception to this is where you have expressly given permission to the police to disclose details to a named person or if you are a juvenile or vulnerable adult.

Contact us for expert legal advice

Being arrested can be a frightening experience for both the detainee and their family and friends. The assistance of an expert in this field can provide much-needed support, advice and reassurance.

The police might suggest that requesting a solicitor will cause a delay, however we will attend at the police station within 45 minutes of being asked to do so.

IBB provides advice and assistance at the police station 24 hours a day- 7 days a week including bank holidays. Our criminal defence solicitors provide support for a variety of offences. We deal with nearly 5000 cases each year and cover a wide range of areas throughout London, the home counties and the remainder of the country. Our experienced lawyers work hard to obtain the best result for you.

You can contact us in a variety of ways to suit your circumstances:

IBB Solicitors, Criminal Defence Experts, West London

  • Contact us today on 0330 999 4999 . Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 numbers. Alternatively please email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.
  • You can also contact us free via Whatsapp on 07899 953415.