0121 777 7864
JR Jones Solicitors Birmingham
solicitors Birmingham

Your Rights on Arrest
Police Station procedure

24 Hour Police Station Legal Advice

If you are arrested you should ask for a Solicitor at the earliest opportunity. You have a right to legal representation. J R Jones solicitors are available 24 hours a day on 07961 369 885. Please make a note of this number. In office hours you can also call us on 0121 777 7864.

Advice at a Police Station is always free of charge and will be paid for by Legal Aid. This does not depend on your financial circumstances.

Once you have asked for legal advice, thecontact us police must not normally question you. You don't have to answer any questions until you have spoken to a solicitor. We strongly advise you not to answer any questions until your solicitor is present.

If you said you didn’t want legal advice, you can change your mind at any time.

If you are arrested it is very important to be careful how you act and what you say. Anything you say to a Police Officer can be used to incriminate you and build a stronger case against you.

This page sets out what your rights are when arrested and also gives you some simple guidelines to follow to give yourself the best chance of not making the situation any worse than it already is.

Police officers do make mistakes with procedure and this can be used to help with your defence in appropriate circumstances.

Rules on when the Police can arrest you?

Police can arrest you if they have a valid arrest warrant. There are also some situations where they can arrest you without a warrant. These are where:

  • You are in the act of committing certain offences
  • The Police have reasonable grounds for suspecting you are committing certain offences
  • The Police have reasonable grounds for suspecting you have committed certain offences
  • You are about to commit certain offences
  • The Police have reasonable grounds for suspecting you are about to commit certain offences.

If the Police arrest you because you have failed to give them a satisfactory address they must first explain that you may be arrested and give you the opportunity to give them the address.

What should happen when you are arrested?

The police should only use reasonable force to make an arrest and they should inform you that you are under arrest as soon as possible. After the arrest, they should explain why they have arrested you. The police must caution you unless it is impractical to do so or unless they cautioned you immediately before they arrested you.

If the police arrest you somewhere other than at a police station, they should take you to a police station as soon as possible. If they arrest you for theft and you were seen taking property but did not have it after a chase, the police officer can retrace your tracks. This may allow them to recover the property. They should take you to the station once they have recovered the property.

Procedure at the Police Station

The custody officer at the police station must tell you why you’re being held and explain what your rights are. Your rights are to:

  • Get free legal advice- for example, from a solicitor
  • Have medical help if you’re feeling ill- the police arrange this
  • Arrange for someone you know to be told where you are
  • See the rules the police must follow - these are called ‘Codes of Practice’
  • See a written notice telling you about your rights- for example, to get regular breaks for food, washing and to use the toilet

Your right to silence

Although you have a right to silence, courts can take your silence into account when deciding whether you are guilty or innocent. We strongly advise you not to answer any questions until your solicitor is present and has a chance to advise you on the best way forward.

Fingerprints, photographs and DNA samples

If you have been arrested, the police have the power to take your fingerprints, photographs and a DNA sample (via mouth swab) without your consent. Other types of sample, called ‘intimate samples’ (blood and urine) can only be taken either with your permission or on the authority of a senior police officer.

Rules for young people on arrest

If you are under 17 years of age and are detained by contact usthe police, an appropriate adult – usually your parent or guardian - should be informed as soon as possible. The police should not interview you until your parent is present, unless a delay would mean an immediate risk of harm to someone or serious loss of or damage to property.
You are still entitled to a Solicitor in addition to this.

Tape recording of the Police station interview

Your interview at the police station will probably be recorded on tape. It will begin with questions about your name and address before moving on to more serious matters. It is important that you have a solicitor present for the interview.

If your Interview is not recorded, notes should be made by the officer concerned. You should have the opportunity to see these notes and to sign them if you agree they are a fair record of what was said.

Being charged for a crime

When you are charged with an offence you are given a charge sheet, containing details of the offence of which you are charged, when and where you are due to appear in court and the conditions of your bail. J R Jones solicitors can negotiate with the police/custody officer to grant you bail to the court date.

Once you are charged you should not usually be asked any further questions unless new information has come to light.


If you are charged with an offence the law states that you should normally be released on bail. In some cases the police or a court could refuse bail. These are:

  • Fear that you would commit further offences
  • Fear that witnesses or evidence would be interfered with
  • Fear that you would not attend court
  • Fear for your own protection

We can make representations to the police that these fears can be dealt with by imposing certain conditions on your bail.

If the police do not release you, you must be brought before a magistrate, at the earliest opportunity, who will decide whether you can be released on bail, and if so, what conditions should apply. For example, you may be required to report to the police station once a week, or to have someone provide a financial guarantee that you will be present in court when required.

Bail cannot be given to anyone charged with murder, attempted murder, rape or attempted rape who already has a conviction for one of these serious offences. Courts also need not grant bail if it appears that the defendant was already on bail when the offence was committed.

Contact us for more information.