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What are your legal rights on arrest?

If you have been arrested, you have certain rights which must be upheld.

Your right to legal advice


You are entitled to advice either over the phone or by a lawyer in person, free of charge. You have a right to a Solicitors of your choice. This right is regardless of your means. Norrie Waite & Slater have Police Station cover 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. Contact us on 07769 906 451.

The right to legal representation is an ongoing right and can be exercised at any time during the process. This means that if at first you said no to a solicitor, but later change your mind, you can say at that time “I want a solicitor”. The police then have to stop the interview and get you a solicitor. 

The right to know the reason for your arrest

You have the right to know the reason for your arrest. The reason should be recorded on your custody record which is a document recording everything that happens to you whilst you are in custody. If there is later a question about your treatment whilst in custody, we can obtain a copy of these records on your behalf.

The right to food and drink whilst in custody

You are entitled to food and drink at no cost.

Review of your detention

A senior officer will review your detention to ensure that the process is progressing as quickly as possible. Again, this will be marked up on the custody record and any reasons given for your further detention.

You are not entitled to:


  • A phone call
  • Visits from friends and family (although there are exceptions for children)
  • Smoke

Police station rules for youths

For the purposes of police station procedure youcriminal solicitors sheffieldare a youth until age 17.

If you are below the age of 17 you must have an “appropriate adult” present at every stage following your initial detention. The first choice of appropriate adult should normally be a parent or guardian. If they are unavailable the police have volunteers they can call on to perform this role.

The appropriate adult is there to give support to the youth in custody and to ensure that they understand the questions being asked as well as the procedure. An appropriate adult is not there to offer legal advice and is not a substitute for proper legal representation.

Also, critically, they do not owe any duty of confidentiality to the young person detained.

The police station interview

All interviews are now recorded. At the beginning of the interview the police officer conducting the interview has to remind the interviewee that they are still under caution.

The basis of the interview is to ask the interviewee what their version of events is. It is not an opportunity for the police to cross-examine the interviewee at this stage. Overly vigorous cross examination could lead to a court deciding that the interview was unfair and therefore not admissible as evidence.

However, the courts do seem to allow a high level of pressure in interviews so this should not be relied upon.

It is far better to always have a solicitor with you so that the solicitor can confront the officer if they are applying undue pressure, and if the officer continues the solicitor can stop the interview.

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