Thousands of people are arrested each year in the UK. The reality of getting arrested is often quite different from what is portrayed on television and in the media. Without proper knowledge of how to cope with the situation, the experience can even be confusing and frightening.

Getting arrested

A police officer can arrest anyone, given they have reasonable grounds to suspect them. This includes:

  • A crime you might have committed
  • A crime you are going to commit
  • Or an offence or crime you are committing at that moment

Once arrested, the officer must tell you their name and that they are a police officer, that they are placing you under arrest, the crime for which you are being arrested, and why it's necessary to place you under arrest.

The officers are only allowed to use reasonable force to arrest you, and are prohibited from using excessive force. However, they are well within their rights to use force or even taser a suspect who is violent and refusing to comply.

The officers can use handcuffs and search you before placing you in their vehicle and taking you to the nearest police station.

Your rights in custody

After you arrive at the police station, the officers have the right to detain you for up to 24 hours before they must either charge you for a crime or release you. In case the crime they suspect you of is serious such as murder they can hold you for up to 36 to 96 hours on special request.

For people who have been arrested under the Terrorism Act, the police have the right to hold them for up to 14 days without charging them.

Once in custody, the officers must explain your rights to you. These include:

  • The right to free legal counsel
  • The right to call someone to tell them where you are
  • The right to medical assistance if you aren't feeling well
  • The right to see the police Codes of Practice
  • The right to an interpreter
  • The right to the regular toilet and food breaks
  • The right to inform a parent or guardian about the arrest and have them accompany you during the interview if you are under 18 years of age

You will be subjected to another search and your possessions will be kept under police custody while you are detained.

Your rights during the interview

The police have the right to ask certain questions to determine your involvement in the crime you have been arrested for.

The interview is usually recorded, and you must have legal representation present during the process. You have the right to refuse any of their questions, however, there could be consequences to your refusal.

Usually, police officers explain this when letting you know your rights. Anything you say or any information you give or refuse to give can be used as evidence and might affect your case later in court.

Need legal advice & assistance?

At Wembley Solicitors, we have years of experience providing legal representation for criminal offences and other criminal law related matters.  We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

Contact our solicitor today to get legal advice and assistance with your legal matters.

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