I’ve been arrested. What are my rights?

What are my rights? 

If you’ve been arrested, you could be held in police custody which means you could be searched and questioned at a police station. The police custody officer will explain your rights.  

Your rights include: 

  • Free advice about the law 
  • Someone you know being told that you are at a police station 
  • Medical help if you are feeling unwell 
  • Reading the Codes of Practice which includes the rules the police must follow 
  • A written notice telling you about your rights as well as how often you will be given food and toilet breaks. The notice is offered in many languages. You can also ask for an interpreter to explain the information in the notice to you 

What are my rights when I am being questioned? 

The police could question you about the crime you are suspected of.  

You do not have to answer the questions but there could be consequences if you don’t. If there is information about the situation that you don’t share during the interview, it could have a negative impact on your case if you need to use this information in court.  

The police will tell you that: 

“You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” 

If you are questioned, the interview will be recorded and used as evidence. 

If you have asked for advice about the law, the police cannot question you until you have had the advice. But if the crime is serious and a senior officer agrees, the police can make you wait for legal advice. 

Can someone come to the police station to help me? 

If you have been arrested and you are under 18 or a vulnerable adult, the police must try to get in touch with your parent, guardian or carer.  

You may be deemed a vulnerable adult if you are unable to take care of yourself.  

If you are under 18 or a vulnerable adult, the police must also find an ‘appropriate adult’ to come to the police station when you are being searched and questioned. The following people are ‘appropriate adults’: 

  • Your parent, guardian or carer 
  • Another family member or friend who is at least 18 years old 
  • A social worker 
  • A volunteer aged 18 or over 

This information has been based on https://www.gov.uk/arrested-your-rights

Links 

https://www.gov.uk/arrested-your-rights

https://www.legalchoices.org.uk/legal-choices/got-a-legal-issue/i-have-been-arrested

http://www.courtroomadvice.co.uk/your-rights-on-arrest.html

https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/site-page/custody-what-expect

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