Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham Updated:

Criminal Investigations

Criminal investigation experience you can trust
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Cartwright King’s specialist Criminal Defence Solicitors have been defending individuals against all types of criminal investigations for decades. Our team excels in criminal defence, which is why we’re renowned as a leading criminal defence law firm by The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

For experienced defence against criminal investigations that you can trust, get in touch with the Cartwright King Criminal Defence Team now.

How Cartwright King Can Help You with Criminal Investigations

Cartwright King offers sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance when you’re faced with a criminal investigation. When your freedom and reputation is at stake, the right legal representation makes all the difference when you need defence against criminal charges.

Our renowned Criminal Investigation Solicitors can help you with:

Criminal Investigation Solicitors Available 24/7

No matter what you’re under investigation for or how complex your case is, our Criminal Defence Lawyers are available when you need them most. You can call on us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for reliable legal advice and guidance throughout your case.

We will scrutinise any evidence against you in detail and ensure that any investigation follows the proper rules and procedures. We are committed to giving you the best possible defence to help clear your name, protect your reputation and safeguard your future.

Unique Advocacy Services

We can represent you at every stage of your police investigation. Our unique advocacy services give you legal representation from the police station through to the Higher Courts. When you need us most, we will be there with the legal know-how and calm head to guide you through any investigation.

Why Choose Cartwright King for Defence Against Criminal Investigations?

Police investigations are something that can take a toll not only on your day-to-day life but also on your family friends. It is often a very difficult time in one’s life, so having people you can rely on around you is crucial – and that’s exactly what we do at Cartwright King.

We offer legal advice whenever you need it, as well as legal representation both at the police station and in the courts. We will help you understand the whole process, what it means when you are ‘released under investigation,’ and explain what will happen if you are charged with an offence.

70% of our cases involve defending against criminal charges. Our reputation is built on successfully clearing people accused of criminal activity. We’re trusted, resourceful and calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on.

Benefit from a Free, Initial Telephone Conversation

In case you are being investigated, or you think that you will be investigated, then having an experienced solicitor can make a significant difference in terms of how the whole process goes.

That’s why you should get in touch with us as soon as you can. The first phone conversation is free of charge and non-obligatory, which means you don’t make a decision about whether you want to continue working with us beforehand, but during the call.

The call will give us a chance to understand what is going on, get to know you better, and together we will decide what is the best way to proceed. Keep in mind, however, that since this is a ‘get to know you’ call, we won’t give you legal advice.

Criminal Investigation Legal Fees

If your financial situation makes it hard to afford legal advice and representation, get in touch with us, either by giving us a call or sending an email, as you might be eligible for Legal Aid. If you are, then we will give you advice on how to proceed and show your eligibility.

In case you don’t classify for Legal Aid, our criminal investigations solicitors will present you with affordable fee levels and fixed fees, as well as advance notice of charges when possible.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What Is the Purpose of an Investigation?

Any police investigation against you will be used to gather evidence. Most investigations start because the investigating authority has strong suspicions of criminal activity taking place. The investigation stage is often key to any criminal case, which is why it’s important that you seek legal advice immediately if you’re under investigation.

How Long Does an Investigation Take?

This is one of the questions that do not have one answer, as there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. A police investigation can last weeks, months or even years in some cases. Everything depends on, for example, how complex the case is or the witnesses’ availability.

Do I Need a Solicitor If I'm Arrested?

Yes. Police station interviews can be intimidating and highly stressful, and things you say may be misinterpreted and used against you. Having legal representation at a police station is a must to ensure that your rights are protected while facing questioning.

How Long Can I Be Held In Custody?

The police have the right to keep you in custody for 24 hours – afterwards, they need to either release you or charge you with a criminal offence. They can apply for an extension to 36 or 96 hours if they are investigating you for a serious crime, such as murder.

If you are arrested under the Terrorist Act, the police have the right to hold you in custody for 14 days without charge.

How Long Do the Police Have To Charge Me?

The length of time the police have to charge you depends on the severity of the offence. Summary only offences, such as common assault, have a six-month time limit, but more serious offences, like sexual abuse, have no time limit.

Can I Be Released On Police Bail?

Yes, you can be released on police bail – however, only if the police don’t have enough evidence to charge you. Keep in mind that while you don’t have to pay to be released, you will still be required to show up for questioning when asked.

If you are released under conditional bail, the police may impose some restrictions in terms of what you can do – what those will be, depends mostly on what kind of criminal offence they suspect you of committing. For instance, if it involves children, you might be restricted from being alone with minors; if you are being investigated for repeated theft in a shop, you might be restricted from entering the area and so on.

Bails have a 28-day limit, which can be extended to three months by a senior police officer. That’s why police officers often prefer to release suspects under investigation.

What Does It Mean to Be Released Under Investigation?

When you are being released under investigation, you are still suspected of committing a criminal offence – however, you are not charged yet, and your case hasn’t made its way into the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

This usually means that the police don’t have enough evidence to charge you but still consider you a suspect – it gives them more time to make inquiries so that in the end, they can either drop the case against you or charge you. Contrary to bail, RUI has no time limit, meaning that you can be a suspect in a case for a long time.

How Will I Know How and When the Investigation Ends?

If the police decide to drop the case, you will get a call from them. If, on the other hand, they decide that you have to be charged with an offence officially, you will be informed about it either via a phone call or a letter.

In case of a phone call, you will be asked to come to the police station, where you’ll be formally charged and given a charge sheet that will tell you when and where you have to attend court. If you don’t show up, a warrant might be issued for your arrest.

The letter you receive by post comes from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), and it’s called postal requisition. Similar to a charge sheet, it tells when and where you need to be present in court. In some cases, you might receive a phone call that a postal requisition is on its way; however, usually, it doesn’t happen.

What our clients are saying about us

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  • Chet Desai is amazing 

    Chet Desai is amazing. Great support and advice. He even attended a meeting with me at very last minute. Highly recommend
    Meera Pala, (November 2023)
  • Great help with the ILR application 

    Sherena Lawrence has provided excellent support throughout my application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. At every step of the process, she explained in detail what needed to be done. Sherena ... Read more Great help with the ILR application
    Ilia, (November 2023)
  • Recommend 

    Sharad came as a recommendation from another solicitor and I am hugely grateful that he was. The advice, support and professionalism was reassuring at time when I was at a ... Read more Recommend
    Andrew Buglass, (November 2023)
  • Absolutely amazing 

    Honestly, amazing experience with our lawyer Sherena Lawrence. Very professional, knows her stuff, kept us updated instantly, kept us feeling prioritised. We had a positive outcome of our case and ... Read more Absolutely amazing
    Salah Salem, Review Solicitors (November 2023)
  • Fantastic, friendly service 

    Was in need of a criminal defence solicitor recently , I contacted Cartwright King via there website and received a call from James within hours , visited the office the ... Read more Fantastic, friendly service
    Carla Auty, (October 2023)
  • Great 

    If you are looking for a family child care firm then I would most definitely recommend Cartwright King. Fiona Bowen was great with communication both via emails and phone calls. ... Read more Great
    JS, (October 2023)
  • Professional but Human! 

    Leanne was a pleasure to deal with despite the nature of my case. Leanne and her team were amazing both in court and out of court. Communication between Leanne and ... Read more Professional but Human!
    Ben, Review Solicitors (October 2023)
  • Best choice 

    Having done my research and reading reviews I decided on Cartwright King. I am so glad I did. The best decision I made. Communication with James started straight away he ... Read more Best choice
    Client, Review Solicitors (September 2023)
  • Caring and Professional 

    Abbie gave clear and honest advice on my case and helped lift some of the burden. A most pleasant and caring solicitor.
    Richard, Review Solicitors (September 2023)