It is an unfortunate situation when you find yourself locked up in a paddy wagon and being sent to the police station. There are many things that you must remember if you have been arrested.
Remember: You Have the Right to Remain Silent!
Your rights when under arrest stem from the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibility) Act 2002. The most common phrase heard when someone is under arrest is ‘your right to silence’. The basis of this phrase is that you shouldn’t cause yourself any disadvantage regarding future proceedings – it’s best to not say anything whilst in custody than risk something being used against you to build up a case.
If you are arrested and conveyed back to the police station you will be under the control and supervision of an officer known as the custody manager. Once you arrive in detention, the custody manager must hand you a document and explain your rights while in custody. If you are unsure of what they are saying then do not hesitate to ask them – it’s your right to understand.
Call a Criminal Defence Lawyer
Before any investigation can begin the custody manager must allow you the right to contact someone so you can inform them of your situation and, if you so wish ask for someone to attend the police station to assist you. You can also contact your legal practitioner for advice or ask them to be present during the investigation. Any conversation you may have with either your friend or lawyer is private and cannot be overheard. If you have sought for either a friend or your lawyer to attend, the formal questioning cannot begin until that person has arrived. Your lawyer can be present with you during the entire investigation. Many lawyers answer urgent enquiries 24 hours nowadays, so make sure you speak to one.
The time spent in custody is called the investigation period. The allowable time that police may detain you is up to 6 hours. The 6 hours do not include the time it takes for any contacted person to arrive or the time spent consulting such person. Before the investigation period ends the custody manager will make a decision as to whether you should be released or detained. At this point in time you should be aware of any charges, if any, being laid upon you.
There are many situations where the police will release you subject to certain bail conditions. You will be read the terms of any bail conditions the police may think are suitable and you must agree to them before you are released. If your are not assessed as suitable for police bail then you will appear before a magistrate at the earliest possible opportunity where you can then be heard on your matter.
If you have been detained, it is best to seek legal advice