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Know Your Rights: What to Do if You’re Arrested

By June 27, 2024July 5th, 2024No Comments

Being arrested can be a highly stressful and confusing experience. Knowing your rights and understanding the correct procedures can help you navigate the situation more effectively. In the UK, the law provides specific rights to individuals who are arrested, ensuring fair treatment and access to legal representation.

At Evan Moore Solicitors, this month’s blog looks at focusing on your rights and how to protect yourself if you are arrested. For information about our legal representation, call us on 0208 0900 806.

Stay Calm

The first and most important thing to do if you’re arrested is to stay calm. Panicking can worsen the situation and lead to misunderstandings or mistakes. Take deep breaths and try to stay as composed as possible.

Do not resist arrest, argue with the police, or make sudden movements. Compliance can help prevent the situation from escalating. Moreover, pay attention to what the officers say. Their instructions and the reasons for your arrest are critical.

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Understand Your Reason for Arrest

The police must inform you why you are being arrested and the specific crime they believe you have committed. This is known as the “grounds” for your arrest. You should be told this information at the time of your arrest or as soon as practicable.

If you do not understand why you are being arrested, politely ask for clarification. Knowing the specific charge is important for your defence.

Right to Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent when arrested. This is a fundamental right that protects you from self-incrimination. The police will caution you by saying, “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.

This means that while you are not required to speak, choosing not to mention something relevant to your defence during questioning could potentially harm your case later.

Be cautious about what you say. Anything you say can be used against you in court. It is often best to wait until you have spoken to a solicitor before making any statements.

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Request Legal Representation

You have the right to free legal advice. You can ask to speak to a solicitor at any time while in police custody. This is a crucial step to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive proper legal guidance. If you do not have a solicitor, one can be provided for you.

Always request a solicitor. Legal representation is critical for navigating the complexities of the legal system. Furthermore, you are entitled to speak to your solicitor in private. At Evan Moore Solicitors, we are available to provide professional legal representation for your case.

Inform Someone of Your Arrest

You have the right to have someone informed of your arrest. This is typically a friend or family member. The police will facilitate this as soon as practicable.

Select someone who can provide support and potentially assist in arranging legal representation or bail.

Right to Medical Assistance

If you need medical help, inform the police. You are entitled to receive medical assistance if you are unwell or injured while in custody. Clearly communicate any medical conditions or medications you need.

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Know the Procedures During Detention

While in custody, you will be subject to specific procedures, including:

Search: You may be searched, and your personal belongings, such as your phone and wallet, may be taken and stored.

Interviews: You will likely be interviewed about the alleged offence. You have the right to have your solicitor present during these interviews.

Photographs & Fingerprints: The police can take your photograph, fingerprints, and a DNA sample.

Custody Record: A custody record will be kept, detailing your time in detention. You have the right to see this record.

Handling Police Misconduct

If you believe your rights have been violated during your arrest or while in custody, it is essential to document the details and report the misconduct. You can file a complaint with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Keep detailed records of the incident, including names, badge numbers, and a description of what happened. A solicitor can assist you in filing a complaint and taking further action if necessary.

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Preparing for Court

If you are charged with a crime, you will need to appear in court. Your solicitor will guide you through the process, help you understand the charges against you, and prepare your defence. It is crucial to work closely with your legal representative to ensure the best possible outcome.

Make sure you fully understand the charges against you and the potential consequences. Work with your solicitor to gather evidence, including witness statements, to support your case. Ensure you attend all scheduled court hearings and follow your solicitor’s advice on how to conduct yourself in court.

Contact Evan Moore Solicitors

If you require legal representation after being arrested, contact Evan Moore Solicitors. Call us on 0208 0900 806. Alternatively, send us a message via our contact form and we will be in touch. We are based in South London and cover a wide range of areas.

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