Caution and arrest

Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995



In Scotland, there are two possible cautions which may be given.

Where an offence which is not likely to result in imprisonment is committed, the common law caution is usually given:

I'm arresting you for (crime committed). You are not obliged to say anything but anything you do say will be noted down and may be used in evidence. Do you understand? (answer yes or no) Do you have anything to say?

Due to the recent law changes in Scotland, it is worth saying, when asked, that you have nothing further to say until you have spoken to your legal representative.

Where an offence which is likely to result in imprisonment is committed, also known as a section14 detention, the following statutory caution should be given:

I am detaining you under Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, because I suspect you of committing (or having committed) an offence punishable by imprisonment, namely (offence stated here).

The reasons for my suspicions are (reasons stated here).



You will be detained to enable further investigations to be carried out regarding the offence and as to whether or not you should be reported. (You will be taken to a police station where you will be informed of your further rights in respect of detention.)


You may be interviewed under caution without being arrested.

• Scottish law now allows you the right to refuse to be interviewed in the absence of a legal representative.

This right can be waived.

You can be cautioned and arrested – and even detained – without charge.

• Technically there is no charge until a summons is received from the Procurator Fiscal's office; although the arresting officer may say that you are being charged and a report
will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

If you are arrested:

• You will be detained until you can appear in court at the earliest opportunity. This is normally the case for more serious crimes where the police want a charge at the earliest
opportunity and remand in custody may also be required.

OR
 
• You will be released without charge and a report sent to the Procurator Fiscal.


Note: A link to the primary legislation on criminal procedure in Scotland is given above. It is a lengthy volume written in legalese and not for the faint hearted. It is however every reason, if one was ever needed, for appointing a specialist in road traffic or motorcycling law to deal with your case.

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