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Police and prosecutions

Your rights if you're arrested or charged with a crime, stop and search, police and procurator fiscal warnings, fines and complaints.

  1. Being arrested: your rights

    Includes powers of arrest, rights in custody, legal advice at the police station, young people and vulnerable adults.

  2. Being charged with a crime

    What happens if the police charge you with a crime. Includes being released on an undertaking or kept in police custody until your first court hearing.

  3. Complain about the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS)

    How to complain to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) if you’re unhappy with their service.

  4. Complain about the police

    How to complain about the police using their procedure or by contacting the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

  5. Find your local procurator fiscal office

    Find contact details and opening times for your local procurator fiscal office.

  6. Get a copy of your police records

    Ask your local police to give you a copy of the information they hold about you.

  7. Help if you're arrested abroad

    Visit GOV.UK to find out what the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can do to help British nationals who are arrested abroad.

  8. If a young person gets in trouble with the police

    What happens if a child or young person gets in trouble with the police – includes the age of criminal responsibility and Children's Hearings.

  9. Police and fiscal warnings, fixed penalty notices and compensation

    The police or procurator fiscal can give you a warning, penalty notice or another alternative to prosecution (direct measure) if you're accused of a crime.

  10. Police powers to stop and search: your rights

    Information about what happens if you're stopped and searched by police, and what your rights are.

  11. Your rights if you're stopped by the police while driving

    Your rights if you're stopped by the police while driving – motoring offences, faults with your vehicle, stolen property.

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