Who can I call after being arrested?

How long, legally, do I have to wait to call my family after being arrested?

Whether you’re entitled to talk to a family member will depend on your age. If you’re 17 or under then you’re classed as a juvenile. This means you are entitled to the presence of an appropriate adult or family member during any interview. If you’re over 17, you’re classed as an adult. Even so, under section 56 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) you are still entitled to contact one person at the earliest and most realistic opportunity. So, if you want to contact a family member, that’s fine.

This request can only be refused if the police believe that such contact could lead to evidence being tampered with, stolen property removed, or there are drug trafficking issues. This sort of delay can only be authorised by an inspector or more senior officer.

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