Released Under Investigation vs. Bail – What You Need to Know
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The Released Under Investigation law (RUI) came into force on 3rd April 2017 under the Policing and Crime Act 2017. Contrary to popular belief, Released Under Investigation is not the same as being released with bail. If you have been arrested and issued an RUI, it’s important to understand what this means so that you can avoid facing further prosecution for any breaches.
Released Under Investigation means that, following arrest, the police need to carry out further investigative work, namely to make enquiries, before they can present your case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
When the police have completed their investigation and have reached a decision, the outcome of the investigation will be delivered to you via post. It may also be necessary for you to partake in further interviews, notices of which you will also receive via post.
Is Released Under Investigation the same as Bail?
In short, no. Released Under Investigation was introduced to the policing system to allow police more time to carry out detailed investigations without the restrictions of the 28-day limit enforced by bail.
Are there any conditions to my release?
Unlike with bail, when you are released under investigation you will have no strict conditions to adhere to. However, you should still refrain from making contact with others who may be involved in your case, or from attending places where you are likely to see them. If you commit any act that could be read as intimidation or harassment, perverting, obstructing or interfering with the course of justice, you could be liable to a fine and/or imprisonment.
If you do commit any such offences whilst released under investigation, you will be re-arrested and taken back into police custody.
How long will I be under investigation?
One of the issues with RUI, and it’s something that is being encouraged by people across the board to be reconsidered, is that there is no limit to the amount of time you can be released under investigation. However, if you choose to work with one of our Private Client solicitors at DRN, we will maintain regular communication with the police on your behalf and do all in our power to ensure the result of the investigation into your case is delivered as soon as possible. You will be continually updated on the work we are carrying out and informed about the status of the investigation should anything change. Any decisions made by the police regarding your investigation will be delivered to you with prior warning by us before you receive any postal notices from the police.
How will I find out the outcome of the investigation?
Following new laws recently introduced, the police now issue charges and other outcomes of their RUI cases via post. This means that you could be charged and summoned to attend court via post without having to return to a police station.
For this reason, it is incredibly important that you inform the police should your address change whilst you are released under investigation, as a change of address will not make valid defence for failed attendance at court and you will be charged with committing a separate offence.
Failure to attend at court could lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest, and you may be held in police custody until another court date becomes available.
At DRN, our team of highly dedicated and experienced solicitors are committed to providing the highest possible standards of care and attention, and will ensure that you receive the very best legal support available.
We have a legal aid contract and will assess you at the outset of a case to see whether you qualify for legal aid. For privately paying clients, we offer competitive rates and some fixed-fee services.