What are my rights if I am arrested? Criminal Defence

When you are arrested you will usually be taken to a police station, held in custody and questioned. You’ll be searched and your possessions will be kept by the police custody officer while you’re in the cell. After questioning you may be released or charged with a crime.

When in custody you have the right to:
• get free legal advice
• tell someone where you are
• get medical help if you are feeling ill
• see the code of practice the police must follow
• see a written notice telling you about your rights, for example, in relation to taking breaks for food and using the toilet.

If you are under 18, the police must try to contact your parent, guardian or carer.

The police can hold you for up to 24 hours before they have to charge you with a crime or release you. For serious crimes such as murder, they can apply to hold you for up to 36 or 96 hours and if you’re arrested under the Terrorism Act, you can be held for up to 14 days without charge.

If you are arrested, we would strongly advise seeking the support of a good criminal defence solicitor.