When you are arrested, it can be a difficult time. There are a lot of myths and assumptions about what your rights are in this situation. Knowing what you are entitled to and what to be aware of can make the process a little bit easier.
What you should know
For most crimes, you can only be held for up to 24 hours, or you need to be given a specific charge. There are exceptions however, you can be held for between 36 to 96 hours if you are suspected of a serious crime such as murder, while you can be held under the Terrorism Act for up to 14 days without charge.
You don’t necessarily need to pay to be released on bail, but it should be noted you may be expected to attend additional questioning if necessary. There is also conditional bail, where you may be required to wear a tag or stick to a curfew if it is felt you could commit another offence, intimidate witnesses or other potential factors that could obstruct justice.
Police can take photographs, fingerprints or DNA samples without permission, but need to get permission from you (and authority from a senior officer) if they want to make dental impressions or take blood or urine samples (the exception is any drink or drug driving offence).
Past a certain point, you can request to have this information removed, but this does depend on if the police agree or if it can be proven that the process was deemed unlawful.
When arrested you can request legal advice and is possible to ask for it if you turn it down and change your mind at a later point. In more serious cases you can be made to wait for up to 36 hours for major crimes or 48 hours in the case of suspected terrorism.
If you feel you have been mistreated, you can make a complaint, and in some cases, the police may need to refer the complaint to the Independent Office for Police Contact. If you are not sure, it is worth talking to your legal representative to ensure it is properly worded and processed.
We can help
It can be a stressful experience when you have been arrested, and it is natural to feel scared. While free legal advice can be available when you are in custody, a professional can give you more in-depth advice and help you stay calm. Furthermore, having someone represent you can guide you through the process.
Larcomes has been a family firm for decades. Aside from having a team of experienced legal professionals with the resources needed to effectively represent you, there is also the family aspect where we believe in ensuring our clients get someone who cares.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us today, and we will be happy to discuss your circumstances in more detail and help you get the representation you need.