Being held in custody

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If you are arrested, the police may only keep you in custody for a “reasonable time”. What is reasonable depends upon the:

  • Number and complexity of the offences
  • Time needed for police to read and collate material
  • Number of other people to be questioned
  • Time needed to have the suspect communicate with a lawyer, interpreter, relative or friend
  • Time needed for medical attention
  • Time given to a person to rest during an interview

If you have been held in custody for some time and not charged, you should ask to phone a lawyer and ask whether the police intend to charge you.