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Released Under Investigation

If you are released under investigation following an arrest, it can be a very scary and confusing time. You will likely have a lot of questions about what happens next and what you need to do to make sure you have the best possible defence against any possible charges or a potential prosecution.

At ABR Solicitors, our highly experienced team regularly advises and represents people who have been released under investigation by the police or other government agencies. We can answer your questions in plain English, covering issues such as:

  • What happens during a police investigation
  • How long an may investigation take
  • When you might have to return to the police station
  • The likelihood of criminal charges being brought
  • Exactly what you should do and not do to protect yourself legally

We can also work closely with you to help you avoid charges and/or build a strong defence against the risk of a prosecution. It is essential to start thinking about this as soon as possible to make sure all of the right supporting evidence can be collected and that you do not make any mistakes that could undermine your defence.

Our criminal defence team have extensive experience representing clients under investigation for even the most serious criminal offences, including:

  • Fraud
  • Drug offences
  • Conspiracy offences (e.g. conspiracy to supply drugs)
  • Historic & current sexual offences
  • Violent crime

With local offices in Leeds, Liverpool, London and Nottingham, we can represent clients all over England and Wales.

We work on a Legal Aid basis for eligible clients, as well as taking on privately funded cases.

Our criminal defence lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be at your side whenever you need us.

For immediate expert criminal defence representation, call:

  • 03330098185 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri)
  • 07850 899999 (Out of hours)

Why you need ABR Solicitors by your side when released under investigation

With significant experience guiding people released under investigation by the police and other agencies, our team can provide effective advice and representation for even the most complicated and challenging legal issues.

Independent recognition for our expertise includes:

  • Ranked Tier 1 for General Crime and Tier 2 for Fraud in Yorkshire and the North East by the Legal 500
  • Ranked Band 1 for Crime and Band 2 for Financial Crime by Chambers & Partners
  • Criminal Defence firm of the year (Finance Monthly 2020)
  • Leading Specialist Criminal Defence Firm of year – UK (Global 100 2020)

We are recommended by 98% of our clients (according to our client feedback forms).

Common questions about being released under investigation

What does it mean to be released under investigation?

In the most simple terms, it means that you are suspected of having committed a criminal offence but the police do not currently have enough evidence to charge you.

You will usually be released under investigation following an interview under caution. The police will then carry out further investigations, such as speaking to potential witnesses or analysing evidence such as forensics or electronic devices.

When released under investigation, you will be free to leave the police station with no conditions, but the police may be able to keep your personal property, such as your phone, as part of their investigation.

Is being released under investigation the same as being released on bail?

When you are released on bail, there will be a time limit (you will be told to return to the police station on a certain date) and other conditions may be imposed on you (such as a curfew or being told to avoid certain areas or people).

When released under investigation, there is no time limit and no conditions. However, you can potentially be rearrested or asked to attend a police station for a further interview at any time.

What should I do if the police contact me when I am under investigation?

You should only speak to the police under the advice of an experienced criminal defence lawyer. If the police contact you during an investigation, you do not have to answer any questions they ask you.

Should you be contacted by the police while you are under investigation, we strongly recommend contacting our criminal defence team as soon as possible.

How long does a police investigation take?

There is no time limit for the investigation, so it can theoretically carry on for weeks, months or even years. You will normally be told that you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation “at some future point”.

Clearly, having an investigation hanging over your head for an indefinite period can be very stressful and disruptive, so our team will do everything we can to support you during this time.

Can I get back property seized by the police?

The police have the right to keep your property where there is a legitimate need to do so as part of their investigation. If the investigation concludes with no charges brought, your property should be returned. If charges are brought, it is possible your property will be retained as evidence.

What happens following a police investigation?

There are usually two possible outcomes to a police investigation:

  1. Insufficient evidence is found to bring criminal charges against you.
  2. Sufficient evidence is found for you to be charged with a specific criminal offence or offences.

If the police believe they have found sufficient evidence that you have committed an offence or offences, you are likely to receive a summons through the post notifying you that you must attend court.

Funding your criminal defence

When arrested, you are entitled to free legal advice. This can be provided by the available duty solicitor or a lawyer of your choosing.

When released under investigation, you will need to fund your legal advice privately, unless and until you are formally charged with an offence.

If you are prosecuted, some or all of the cost of your defence may be covered by a Representation Order (Legal Aid) depending on the circumstances.

Find out more about funding your criminal defence.

Get immediate expert legal advice when released under investigation

If you or a loved one have been released under investigation and need expert legal advice and representation, please contact your local ABR Solicitors office in Leeds, Liverpool, London or Nottingham.