If you, or someone you know, is being arrested and suspected of committing a crime, they/ you have the right to receive free legal advice, otherwise known as legal aid. If you’ve asked for it, legal aid should be given before you are questioned at a police station.
How can you get free legal advice?
When you’re arrested by the police, you must be told about your right to receive free legal advice. This should occur after you’ve been arrested and before you’re questioned by police at a police station.
Your rights entitle you to ask to see the police station’s ‘duty solicitor’, alternatively you can ask for legal advice and to contact a solicitor of your choosing, such as a ‘police station representative’.
Duty solicitors are independent of the police and available 24 hours a day. Everyone is entitled to access the duty solicitor scheme; this means that a criminal defence solicitor is assigned to your case, free of charge. Depending on the seriousness of the crime that you’re suspected of committing, legal advice may be given to you over the phone.
What is a police station representation?
For clients that feel their case is too important to risk leaving it to duty solicitors, they may seek the advice from a police station representative. When choosing a police station representation solicitor, you can ensure that you are offered thorough legal advice, and therefore the best chance of clearing criminal charges.
Police station representation can inform you of your rights, and advise on the following:
- What to say, or what not to say during the interview process
- Inform you of your right to remain silent, and if you choose to do so what implications this can have
- Specific legislation surrounding your criminal charges
- Whether your attendance at the police station is necessary
What happens after you’ve asked for legal advice?
After you’ve asked for legal advice, the police cannot question you until you’ve received it, although there are some exceptions.
How long can you be held in custody?
In serious cases and if a senior officer agrees, the police can make you wait for legal advice. However, the longest you can be made to wait before receiving legal advice after arriving at a police station is 36 hours, or 48 hours if suspected for terrorism.
The longest the police can hold you in custody before they charge you with a crime or release you is up to 24 hours. However, this is longer if you’ve been suspected of a serious crime such as murder, which can be up to 36 or 96 hours. In addition to this, if you’ve been arrested under the Terrorism Act, you can be held without charge for up to 14 days.
Contact Broadbents today and receive police station representation
If you need specialist advice, Broadbents Solicitors cover various fields of law, ensuring that you have access to expert legal advice. You can call our dedicated team today: Alfreton 01773 832 511, Derby 01332 369 090, Heanor 01773 769 891, or Sutton-in-Ashfield 01623 441 123. Alternatively, you can head over to our online contact form and we’ll be in touch.