A person charged with one or more criminal offences may be remanded in custody which means detention in a prison until such time as a trial is to take place.

There are limits in relation to how long a person may be held in custody following charge and the start of their trial and Suki Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors outlines the position.

If you are concerned about any aspect of detention in custody and wish to seek expert legal advice, the team at Kangs Solicitors will be pleased to hear from you.

Kangs Solicitors is a top ranked firm recognised by both of the leading law directories, Chambers & Partner and the Legal 500 for criminal defence work on behalf of clients facing prosecutions for every kind of criminal offence including serious, violent and complex financial crime offences.

For an initial no obligation discussion, please call our team at our offices detailed below:

The Time Limits | Kangs Criminal Advisory Team

The time limits vary according the category of the offence(s) charged:

  • In matters that can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, there is a fifty-six  day period until the start of the trial. 
  • Offences which can be tried ‘either way’ i.e. before either a Magistrates’ Court or a Crown Court, and which are actually dealt with in a Magistrates’ Court, are subject to a limit of seventy days until the beginning of the trial. 
  • In indictable matters, which can only be tried before a Crown Court, the custody time limit period is one hundred and eighty-two days.
  • The Prosecutor can ask the court for an extension of the relevant custody time limit under Section 22 (3) of The Prosecution of Offenders Act 1985.  The most common grounds are that there is good and sufficient cause and that the Prosecution has acted with all due diligence and expedition.    

Coronavirus | Temporary Provisions | Kangs Criminal Law Solicitors

  • The temporary Coronavirus Protocol, which commenced on 9 April 2020, ceased to have effect on 3 September 2020.  
  • This Protocol streamlined practice and procedure dealing with applications to extend custody time limits at a time when it was not possible to conduct any jury trials in the Crown Court due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   
  • As jury trials have restarted, it was deemed that this Protocol is now out of date. and had served its purpose.

Judicial Comment | Custody Purpose | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

 In the Crown Court at Winchester in Re: G. v Blair and Bryant, the purpose behind the custody time limit provisions was described in the following manner:      

‘These are provisions expressly designed to protect the liberty of the citizen, assumed at the present stage not to be guilty.  Of course, the decision to place him in custody involves a balance of his interests against those of the public: but to keep him in custody beyond the time reasonably necessary for his case to be prepared for trial, for administrative reasons which are essentially unconnected with his case, is another matter altogether. There is no redress against custody for those who at the end of the day are found to be innocent, and those are all no doubt factors which parliament had in mind in laying down the provisions that it did’.

New Legislation | Extension Of Time Limit | Kangs Criminal Defence Team

  • With the intent of reducing the volume of applications being made to the courts seeking time limit extensions, new legislation has been drafted that will take effect from 28 September 2020. 
  • Under this legislation, the custody time limit will be extended from one hundred and eighty two days to two hundred and thirty eight days for a period of nine months. 
  • The extension will apply to custody time limits that begin during the temporary nine month period. It will not be applied retrospectively and will not affect prisoners currently on remand whose case is subject to custody time limits that began before the amended regulations came into force).

What Is The Effect of the New Legislation | Kangs Serious Crime Solicitors

  • For those who are already in custody, any application by the Crown to extend custody time limits should be vigorously opposed unless there is merit in the application made by the Crown. 
  • Those who will be affected by the new legislation on 28 September 2020 will, unfortunately, have to serve an extended period of time in custody of up to two hundred and thirty eight days without the Crown needing to make any applications to extend custody time limits.

How Can I Contact You? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

The team at Kangs Solicitors is available to assist you in respect of criminal allegations of every nature and whatever its seriousness.    

Hamraj Kang leads an award-winning team of solicitors nationally reputed for its excellence in serious complex investigations of every nature.    

We welcome any enquiries by telephone or email.

Our team of lawyers is available to meet at any of our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester, or alternatively, we are happy to arrange meetings via video conferencing. 

Our team can be contacted through any of the following who would be happy to discuss your situation with you:

Suki Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Aman Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 0121 449 9888