FAQs About Criminal Law and Detainment Answered

by - 9:05 AM

When a person is taken into custody on suspicion of an offence, there are a number of steps that need to be taken to ensure justice is properly served. Here, a criminal solicitor answers common questions that they are asked by clients who have just been arrested. So read on to learn more about what rights an individual has when they're taken to jail and what a criminal legal team can do for them. 

What happens after a person is arrested?
Once a person has been arrested, it's important that they seek legal advice. They should use their allocated phone call to contact a solicitor. They can ask the police for advice on which legal team they contact, however, it is ultimately their own decision. Any arrested individual should refrain from answering any questions in police interviews without the oversight of a legal team. 

Does legal representation at the police station cost money? 
No, the arrested individual does not have to pay for a legal representative to attend the police station and offer them legal advice. The majority of legal teams who offer criminal based legal advice operate on a 24-hour, 365-day system. So even if someone is arrested at 2:00 am on Christmas morning, they will have access to legal representation. If they'are charged and later need to attend court, then they will need to pay for legal representation from a solicitor. 

Do they have to answer the police questions? 
No, they do not. The majority of legal teams will advise against answering police questions without a legal representative present. This is not an admission of guilt. It is also worth noting that what they do say during a police interview is likely to be held against them during their trial should the case go to court. Therefore, they need to have professional insight into what you say and how you say it, as this can play into your defence later. 

Will they need to attend the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court? 
This depends on what they have been arrested for. The majority of criminal acts for which people are arrested in the UK are seen by the Magistrates’ Court. The Crown Court generally deals with more serious offences, such as murder, manslaughter and rape. However, they may be in something of a grey area due to the severity of the crime. And so, they may initially be sent to the Magistrates’ Court to be tried, but then moved to the Crown Court. 

How long someone be detained at the police station? 
For the majority of arrests in the UK, the police have the legal right to detain people at the police station for 24 hours. In instances where the crime is more severe, such as terrorism, the police superintendent can authorise that they are detained at the police station for up to 4 days. In most criminal cases, however, they will be released within the first day. 

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