7. Getting Released

Once you’ve spent your time in custody, usually one of four things will happen:

  1. You are released with no further action.
  2. You are Released Under Investigation (RUI). This is now the most common practice when the police are not yet ready to charge you. There are no conditions and the police can take as much time as they need to make a decision unless the offence they are investigating is a ‘summary’ offence, i.e. it can only be heard in the magistrates’ court. In this case the investigation can only last for 6 months after which you must be either charged or realease with no further action.
  3. You are charged with an offence and released on bail to appear in court at a later date. There may be bail conditions imposed, such as staying away from a certain area or not attending specific events. You may be able to challenge these conditions, especially if they have been imposed in a ‘blanket’ manner on a large group of people.
  4. You are charged and held over to be brought into court the next day (or the following Monday if it is a weekend). This is usually done if you do not agree to your bail conditions, or if the police do not believe they should release you (because you might leave the country, etc.).
  5. You are bailed to return to the same police station at a later date, pending further inquiries. This means the police have not decided whether to charge you or not. It often means they need more time to look over the evidence. You might, as above, be given bail conditions.
  6. If you are under 18 years of age, the police may initially Release you Under Investigation and then refer you to the Youth Offending Team (YOT) instead of charging you. The YOT is a multi-agency team co-ordinated by the local authority and independent from the police. They will contact you and want to discuss ways to prevent further offending. They can refer your case back to the police for a charge if they think your case is too serious for them to deal with.

If they know about your arrest, ACAB, or groups who they work with, will try and organise police station support on your release. This means a friendly face to meet you, make sure you can get home, and ensure you are in touch with us for further support if desired.

Key Messages

Coronavirus

COVID-19 has lead to changes in policing & protest law which may affect the information in this guide. Please also read our guide to Coronavirus & Protest Law.

  • 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.

Coronavirus

COVID-19 has lead to changes in policing & protest law which may affect the information in this guide. Please also read our guide to Coronavirus & Protest Law.

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