UK Legal Timeframes

How long does the legal process take? Some key timeframes:

Normally the police will need to charge within 24 hours of your arrest. Thereafter this can be extended by 12 hours with the consent of an officer of at least Superintendent level. If a further extension is required then there is a need to apply to the magistrates, who may extend the total time up to 96 hours.

The time between your arrest and your first appearance in court can vary quite considerably, as can the duration before your trial in the magistrates court and Crown Court, the latter can sometimes take months before coming to trial.

You can appeal against conviction, sentence or both if you pleaded not guilty at your trial. If you pleaded guilty, you can only appeal against your sentence. You must appeal within 21 days of your sentence failing which you will need permission from the Crown Court. If you intend to appeal you should contact us as soon as possible, so as we may guide you through the process.

In the Crown Court (for more serious offences) you can appeal against your conviction, sentence or both and regardless of your original plea, however, you must ask the court for permission to appeal and a judge will consider your request. It is clearly best to contact us so as you gain the best possible chance of being granted an appeal.