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Police Detention Time Limits

Police Detention Time Limits

If you find yourself arrested under suspicion of committing a crime, it's vital to grasp your temporary detention rights fully. You're entitled to be informed of these rights clearly and in a language you understand, which includes the right to remain silent.

Given the complexity and potential rapid changes in your situation, seeking expert legal advice immediately upon detention is paramount. Reach out to our experienced general crime solicitors for a free consultation, available round the clock.

Will I Be Detained Before Being Charged?

Detention preceding charges occurs in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Serious accusations like murder.
  • Inability to identify you or verify personal information.
  • Police deeming you a flight risk or a threat to yourself or others.

You're entitled to know the allegations against you, although specific charges may not be disclosed until later. In most cases, you can notify someone of your arrest, and a solicitor should be provided free of charge. It's advisable to consult with legal counsel before engaging in any interviews or discussions with law enforcement, and your solicitor will accompany you during any interviews.

How Long Can I Be Held Before Being Charged?

Strict rules govern detention time limits before charges:

  • Initial detention without charges is limited to 24 hours, extendable by up to 12 hours in exceptional cases by a senior officer.
  • In cases necessitating further evidence gathering, a magistrate may authorise up to 96 hours of detention.
  • Suspected terrorism offenses permit detention for up to 14 days.

Review officers must assess your detention circumstances every 6 hours, with your lawyer entitled to attend and comment.

Can I Be Held After Being Charged?

Typically, you'll be released after being charged, pending trial. Bail conditions may apply based on your circumstances, with a subsequent court appearance to formally hear the charges against you.

Limited situations allow for post charge detention, usually resulting in a prompt court appearance where the prosecution presents their case against bail.

Can I Apply For Bail?

Bail decisions rest with the magistrates' court, considering various factors like the alleged crime's severity and your background. Bail is often granted unless compelling prosecution objections exist.

Bail conditions may include surrendering documents, fixed residence, reporting to police, or curfews, subject to regular review hearings.

What If I Breach Bail?

Breaching bail conditions or missing court appearances constitutes separate offences. Penalties range from fines to imprisonment, with bail potentially revoked, leading to custody until trial.

24/7 Availability

Arrests can occur unexpectedly, which is why our legal advisors are available around the clock to assist you at the police station whenever needed.

BKP Solicitors