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Police Bail: An overview
At Johnson Astills our criminal team regularly represent clients at the police station stage and before the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts to deal with the issue of bail.
Can you be bailed from the police station without charge?
After police interview the issue of bail and being released from the police station is always at the forefront of a client’s mind.
In the first instance the police can only detain an individual suspect of a criminal offence for 24 hours. Other than in the most serious of cases detainees are usually interviewed and a decision made regarding their detention within this 24 hour period.
It may be that post interview the police need to conduct further enquiries as part of their investigation and therefore a detainee can be ‘released under investigation’ with no date to return to the police station. In these circumstances we chase the officer in the case every 28 days in order to obtain an update regarding the case. This update will confirm whether the client is to remain under investigation; if they are to be charged with an offence; if they are to be re-interviewed in relation to the offence; or, if no further action is to be taken in respect of the offence.
Alternatively a decision may be made to bail a detainee to return to the police station on a future date. If bailed this can be unconditional, meaning there are no conditions attached to the bail, other than the requirement to answer bail on the date and time provided by the police. Police bail can also be conditional with conditions such as residence, not to contact a complainant/witness, and not to go to a particular location/address.
Can you be bailed from the police station once charged?
Once charged with a criminal offence at the police station a decision will be made by the police and/or Crown Prosecution Service (depending on the seriousness of the charge) as to whether the charged individual can be bailed. Again this bail can be conditional or unconditional.
In determining whether bail can be granted at this stage consideration will be given to the nature and seriousness of the offence alleged, the individual’s previous convictions, the likelihood of further offending if granted bail, the likelihood of interference with witnesses, and the likelihood of the individual absconding and failing to appear at Court. An individual can also be remanded into custody for their own safety.
If the police/CPS consider that an individual cannot be bailed once charged they will be remanded into custody to appear before the next Magistrates’ Court.
How can we help?
At Johnson Astills our specialist criminal defence team have a wealth of experience in dealing with representation at the police station. If you find yourself facing an allegation or charge it is vital to contact a Solicitor as soon as possible to obtain specialist advice regarding what may potentially be a very serious charge.
You are always entitled to free legal advice at the police station. Should you find yourself facing an allegation at the police station one of our solicitors or police station accredited representatives will always be available to attend the police station with you, even at short notice. We understand that facing a criminal allegation is a stressful time and will do all that we can to guide and support you through the process.
If you have any issues in relation to bail or are facing an allegation which the police are investigating please do not hesitate to contact our criminal defence team in Leicester on 0116 2554855 or in Loughborough on 01509 610312.