Released under investigation rights

What does released under investigation mean?


Once you have been arrested and interviewed under caution, the police have a number of options.

  • They may place a suspect on bail, either conditionally or unconditionally which means the suspect will be released from custody while imposing specific conditions that must be followed. Initially, police can only place you on bail for a period of three months. After this period, they must either make a decision regarding charges or apply to extend your bail.
  • The police can release the suspect under investigation which means that the police are still looking in to the alleged criminal offence. There are no specific time constraints that the police impose for the investigation, and there aren’t any conditions that you must adhere to, unlike when placed on bail. This is often colloquially referred to as being “RUI’d”.
  • They can release you with no further action (often referred to as nfa’d)
  • You could be charged, and initially, you’ll be sent to Magistrates or Youth Court

How long can you be released under investigation?


The police can carry on investigating the offence without any set time limit. They might reach out for additional interviews, and in certain situations, they retain the authority to re-arrest you. Predicting the duration of the investigation is challenging. While some cases wrap up within weeks, more serious or intricate matters may persist for several months. Especially in instances involving forensic scrutiny of electronic devices, investigations frequently extend beyond twelve months.

What are your rights if you’ve been RUI’d?


You are free to carry on with your life as normal when you’ve been rui’d as there are no restrictions on what you can do. However, you’ll receive a Notice with actions which may cause them concern. This will include things like ‘Engaging with anyone associated with your case, whether directly, indirectly, via a third party, or through social media’. The notice will also outline severe criminal offences like Witness Intimidation, or the offence of perverting the course of justice, which could both result in prison sentences.

  • If you’re planning a holiday it may be advisable to notify the arresting officer just in case they try to get a hold of you whilst you are away.
  • If you’re asked to come back in for an interview you have the right to have a solicitor with you. Therefore you should contact us and we can arrange to represent you (even if we didn’t represent you at the original point of arrest & interview).

  • If you’ve been released under investigation, it won’t appear on a basic or standard DBS check. However, there’s a possibility it could be disclosed on an enhanced DBS Check. In this instance any relevant information can be disclosed in the ‘other information’ section, at the discretion of the police. Usually, the police will let you know that they are considering disclosing the information to give the opportunity to make representations as to why the information should not be disclosed. However they don’t have to give this notice.

The problem with being released under investigation


Unlike bail, which sets a timeframe for investigations, being released under investigation means that the process could extend indefinitely. The duration of the investigation can vary widely based on factors such as case complexity and police priorities.

This indefinite waiting period is challenging for both suspects and alleged victims. It creates frustration and stress, as there is no clear timeline or set dates for police decisions. The uncertainty of when a decision will be reached can be extremely distressing, leaving individuals in limbo with no end in sight.

Without a specific timeline, suspects feel like their lives are on hold. They’re uncertain when the investigation will conclude, when their property will be returned, or if they can return to their family home. Concerns about potential publicity and the ability to apply for jobs add to the anxiety.

The burden of uncertainty and anxiety weighs heavily on individuals under investigation, even though no charges have been brought against them.

What happens after the investigation ends?


The police will either bring charges against you or they will inform you in writing that the investigation has concluded. If we are acting for you and you receive any communication from the police, please inform us as soon as possible.

If you’ve been released under investigation and need legal advice please call us on 0208 692 2694 or use the contact us form below.