Released Under Investigation vs Police Bail: What’s the difference?

September 9, 2021, By

Following an arrest, there are a number of different outcomes for defendants, the most common being released on bail or released under investigation (RUI). We find that clients struggle to understand the difference between the two and this can sometimes lead to breaches or even the commission of further offences.

Understanding Police Bail

Defendants that are bailed from a police station without charge are released with the requirement to return at a later date for a charging decision. Bail can be either unconditional or conditional, the latter being that certain restrictions and conditions are put on defendants such as not being able to contact a complainant or go to a certain location.

The initial bail period is 28 days but can be extended up to 3 months by a Superintendent. If the Police wish to have bail extended further this will have to be done through the Magistrates’ Court.

Whilst breaching police bail is not an offence in itself, it can lead to you being arrested. Custody will then determine whether a charging decision can be made. If so, you may find yourself remanded in custody for Court. Breaches of police bail can lead to bail being denied at Court resulting in a remand to prison pending your Trial or Sentence.

What does Released Under Investigation mean?

New provisions came into force under the Policing and Crime Act 2017 stating that a suspect should only be released on Police bail if it is necessary and proportionate.

If an investigation is ongoing but the Police are unable to justify the imposition of bail, defendants are released under investigation (RUI). This means that there is no requirement to return to a police station at a future date, nor are you subject to any bail conditions.

Saying this, we advise all clients to avoid contacting any prosecution complainants and/or witnesses. Any interference can be considered to be witness intimidation or perverting the course of justice; both of which are imprisonable offences.

Should any further evidence come to light, you may be re-arrested or invited back to the Police station on a voluntary basis for a further interview. If you have children, social services may impose their own conditions regarding contact. However, this is completely separate from the Police investigation.

Legal Expertise during Investigation

While you are released under investigation, we will keep in regular contact to ensure that they are making progress.

If the police have seized belongings we will do what we can to retrieve them.

We will update you whenever we hear back from the police, but if they contact you, you will need to inform us too. This way, we are all on the same page and if further proceedings or police interviews need to take place, we can make preparations.

Contact our Specialists

Our criminal defence team is able to provide advice to defendants who were unrepresented in their interview or are unhappy with their current representation. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form and we’ll be in touch.