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What Happens Next? A Brief Guide To Possible Outcomes After An Arrest

The process of being arrested and taken to the police station can be completely overwhelming and often very confusing. The event itself and the possible consequences that may follow can be extremely daunting and leave people unsure of what they can expect to happen next.

There are a number of possible outcomes following an arrest and possible interview. This article will be a brief guide for what outcomes could be expected after an arrest and hopefully ease any confusion there may be surrounding this time.

No further action – NFA

After the arrest and possible questioning in interview, the police may decide there is not enough evidence or that it is not in the public interest for the individual to be charged or placed on bail. The individual will be released from police custody and there will be no further consequences of the arrest. It is possible if new information comes to light that the case will be re-opened.

Released Under Investigation – RUI

The police may release individuals whilst the police officers continue to investigate the alleged crime. Unfortunately unlike being released on bail, no date is set for when the officers must conclude their investigations; at any point in the future the police can inform the individual of the outcome of their investigations. This uncertainty make it particularly important to request regular updates from the police, directly or through a solicitor.

Bail to return –BTR

An individual can be released with a bail to return date, this is known as being on police bail. This allows the police to make further enquires relating to the allegation. The individual will be given a date which they must return to the police station, at which point the police may decide to re-interview, charge or decide there will be no further action. The police can also make the decision to extend the bail date if they have not concluded their investigations by that date. Failure to attend the bail return date without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence in its own right, punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.

Charged and bailed

This outcome will mean the individual will be released from custody on bail with a date to attend court for their first appearance hearing at court. In order to be bailed before your hearing you are usually required to have an address that the police will be able to verify. Individuals may be required, as a bail condition, to reside at their home address until the date of their hearing.

When charged, individuals will be presented with a charge sheet with details of their case and hearing date. Individuals must attend their hearing date at court as failure to attend may result in a warrant being issued for their arrest. The failure to attend is of course a stand-alone criminal offence punishable by a fine, imprisonment or both.

Any outcomes which involve a person being bailed can be subject to bail conditions. These conditions often put restrictions on what the individual can do during their time on bail, as suggested above. Placing conditions on an individual’s bail can only be done if the police believe they could be at risk of committing another offence, failing to appear at court or obstructing the course of justice in some way.

The solicitor acting for the individual will be in communication with the police officer in charge of their case to ensure they are aware of any changes, such as extensions, made to the bail to return date.

The police officer in charge may also contact the individual directly with any updates, so it is important for individuals to look out for any correspondence.

Charged and remanded in custody to court

When this is the outcome of an arrest, individuals are held in custody until they can be taken to court for a first appearance hearing. This is because the police refuse bail due to concerns about the individual not attending court, interfering with witnesses or going on to commit further offences.

When charged and remanded in custody to court, the police will present individuals with a charge sheet which sets out the details of the offence they have been charged with and any other relevant information.

Having a solicitor to help guide you through these steps is the best course of action. They will provide ongoing advice and support throughout any of these outcomes.

Contact our leading crime team now on 0330 822 3451 or request a call back, to obtain independent legal advice on the best way forward in your particular case.

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