Charging and Bail

After the police interview/interviews have concluded and following any further consultation with the officer and you, the next steps in the investigative process will be charging and/or bail.

The custody officer must determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge you with the offence or offences for which the arrest was made.

The custody officer may feel that there is insufficient evidence to charge and that further enquiries by the police are required. In which case the police might decide to either detain you while those further enquiries are made or release you on police bail. (Please note there are time limits on the detention Contact Us for more details).

If bail is granted, then the custody officer must appoint the venue of the police station that you are obliged by law to return to and the date and time. A failure to attend the police station on the relevant day and time could result in a further arrest, without a warrant.

The custody officer may later cancel this obligation giving you written notice. Bail may be conditional or unconditional. Examples of conditional bail include:

Not to directly or indirectly contact the witness

To reside at your home address

Restricting you to go to certain areas.

Charging

The custody officer makes the decision whether there is sufficient evidence to charge a person with the offence/offences for which they have been arrested. That decision will always be influenced by, in the case of minor cases, the officer in the case and in other cases where the Director of Public Prosecutions guidelines apply, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). In all but minor cases, the CPS is responsible for decision-making concerning charging or alternatives to charging. The CPS will determine which set of the circumstances apply under s. 37B PACE:

  1. If there is insufficient evidence to charge;
  2. If there is sufficient evidence to charge but there should be no charge on public interest grounds;
  3. If there is sufficient evidence to charge but a caution is appropriate; or
  4. There is sufficient evidence to charge with one or more defined offences.
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