5. Bail

Bail is a release from police custody to await charge or court, which may have conditions attached. The time allows the police to gather evidence against you and for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide what to charge you with. Your case may be dropped whilst you are on bail, or you may have to return to a police station, or to court.

You may have conditions attached to your bail. These often specify certain areas that you cannot enter, or types of protests that you cannot attend.

Bail conditions can be challenged, both at the time of release, and at a later date. A good solicitor can help with this.

There is often a wide variation in bail conditions even for people arrested at the same protest on the same day. Please let us know what your conditions are.

You can be theoretically arrested for breaking bail conditions, but it is not a crime in itself, and exactly what will happen depends on the type of bail you are on.

If you are bailed to return to a police station:

On your return, you are likely to be interviewed. You are entitled to have a solicitor present and an appropriate adult if you are under 18. All solicitors will attend this bail interview for free.

If you decide to go without a solicitor we recommend giving a ‘no comment’ interview. This simply means not answering any questions.

  • It’s easier to refuse to answer any questions than to pick and choose which ones to answer, as the police will try and trick you and trip you up.
  • If you give a no comment interview, you can later say you did this because you didn’t have legal advice at the time.
  • Most good solicitors will also recommend doing a no comment interview.

There are 4 possible outcomes when bailed to a police station:

  1. You could be given ‘No Further Action’ – the case against you is dropped. This could also happen before your bail date, i.e. you do not have to attend an interview.
  2. You could be re-bailed to a later date. If this happens solicitors can try to challenge bail.
  3. You could be charged. You can be charged with a different offence than the one you were arrested for, based on evidence or legal advice police have obtained during bail.
  4. You could be offered a caution. We strongly advise that you do not accept a caution.

Key Messages

  • No Comment
  • You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.
  • No Personal Details
  • You don't have to give details under ANY stop and search power.
  • No Duty Solicitor
  • Use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.
  • No Caution
  • They admit guilt for an alleged offence that might never get to court.
  • What Power?
  • Ask "What power?" to challenge a police officer to act lawfully.

Elsewhere