When you have been arrested it can be a difficult and stressful time. It is important when this occurs to know what your rights are. In this article, we are going to look at what specifically those rights are and what you should be aware of when you are arrested.


Your rights when you are in custody

When you have been arrested, the officer who puts you in custody should explain what your rights are. Essentially you are entitled to free legal advice, the chance to tell someone where you are, any medical help (if you feel ill), the codes of practise and if necessary to ask for an interpreter.

During this time, you are likely to be searched and your possessions will be held while you are in the cell. Legally police can hold you for up to 24 hours without charge, between 36-96 hours if you are suspected of a serious crime such as murder or up to 14 days if you are suspected of an act of terrorism.


For children and young adults

If someone under the age of 18 is arrested then the police need to contact a parent or responsible adult (this can include carers, social workers or family friends as well as parents and guardians).


When being questioned

The police should explain to you that although you do not legally have to respond to any questions it could potentially harm your defence. Equally they should also point out that any response you give could potentially be used in evidence as well.



You can be released if it is felt there is not enough evidence to charge you. In this instance, you don’t have to pay but you may have return for further questioning. However, if it is felt you could potentially commit another offence or potentially obstruct the course of justice then you may be released on conditional bail and this could result in a restriction such as a curfew.



The police have the right to take photographs, fingerprints, DNA samples and other forms of evidence. However, it is possible to find out if the police have a record and you can ask to have it removed if an offence has been cleared or if it is concluded that you were wrongfully arrested.



If you feel that you have been unfairly treated during the period when you were arrested then you can contact the police force to make a complaint. If the complaint is serious enough then it may be passed on to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for further investigation.


Talk to us

At Larcomes we pride ourselves on being big enough to specialise but also small enough to care. We have specialist legal representatives available that can talk to you during stressful situations such as being arrested and guide you through the process.

However, you should not wait until a serious situation like this occurs, having an experienced legal representative to hand can make all the difference. For more information contact Larcomes today to find out more about how our specialists can represent you.