Time Limit for Custody

Updated on Saturday 12th November 2022

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A person kept in custody and waiting for the pre-hearing in the court of law can be released under bail conditions if the custody time limits have been exceeded. There are cases sent to the Crown Court or at the Magistrates’ Court, but if the time limit has expired, the offender needs to be released from custody. Complete assistance and legal advice in this matter can be obtained from our defence solicitors in London who can also help you apply for bail.

What you need to know about the custody time limit period 

The time limit for custody before the trial starts at the Crown Court is 182 days, and if the hearing doesn’t take place within these days, the criminal offender can apply for bail and be released from custody. As for the cases heard at the Magistrates’ Court, the custody time limit period is 56 days. Your lawyer in London can properly analyze your case and if the time limit for custody has been exceeded, your solicitor can help you obtain the terms of bail.

In order to be able to qualify for legal aid, you must present information about your personal income, benefits if they exist and your National Insurance Number. And if they are accepted, you can contact our legal aid solicitors in London and benefit from free legal support. We advise you to act in time to receive the optimal solutions for the situation in which you find yourself.

Custody time limits for young offenders 

The custody time limits (CTL) are also applicable for young offenders in the UK kept in custody, and if a secure accommodation order was granted, the period related to the custody time limits starts from the day the order was given. We remind that the cases with young offenders who committed crimes in the UK are dealt in the Youth Court, but the custody time limits are the same as for adults charged and arrested for serious crimes. It is good to know that if an offender found guilty of serious crimes and kept into custody offers evidence about his/her health, this can weigh much when calculating the release date of the young criminal from prison. Here is a video presentation with details on this topic: 


Custody time limits for additional charges 

According to the rules and regulations in the UK, any new charges brought to an offender already kept into custody will change the custody time limits. This is available in cases where the new offences are different from the first ones a criminal was imprisoned. In such serious cases, the prosecutor needs to validate the motives and the timing for the advancement of a new offence charge for individuals in the UK.

What you need to know about the remand into custody in the UK

From the beginning, we remind that teenagers under the age of 18 who are accused of serious crimes like burglary, theft, anti-social behavior or drug possession will be detained in secure centers for young people. The police have many reasons to put on remand an offender, such as:
  •     he did not respect the bail conditions;
  •     he has committed crimes before;
  •     he might not go to the first hearing in the court of law;
  •     he might commit another crime under bail.

One should know that the magistrates’ court can also send the accused individual back on remand after a previous hearing if they consider that he/she will not respect the terms of bail. Before any measure is taken, it is advisable to solicit help and legal representation in the court of law from our defence lawyers. They can properly investigate your case, to provide a suitable approach to your situation.

The legal rights of people put on remand into custody in UK

An individual accused of certain criminal offences and put on remand has the right to ask for legal advice and to apply for bail because he is presumably not guilty. Before the first hearing in front of the court of law, the defendant needs to be properly represented by a solicitor who can analyze the grounds, in order to receive the best possible result. This is an important right that is entirely explained by the police officers while putting an individual on remand. Besides that, you can apply once again for bail and wait for the response of the court of law in the UK.

What happens if you fail to surrender to a police station

Persons kept in custody and who were granted bail need to respect the conditions imposed and to appear at the police station every time is needed in criminal offence cases. If this obligation is broken, the authorities can analyze the culpability, in order to see if the failure to surrender to custody is negligence or was a deliberate act. The cases when the individuals fail to surrender to the local police station mean that the course of justice has been delayed. Also, the witnesses in serious offence cases, when the offender fails to surrender to custody, can be preoccupied about their safety or can doubt the justice in their cases. Our criminal solicitors in London are able to properly analyze your situation if you have failed to surrender to custody at the police station and can offer a suitable approach to your case with comprehensive legal advice.

What happens if you fail to surrender to the court of law

The court of law in UK can grant bail for individuals kept in custody for different criminal offences, according to the circumstances. If an individual fails to surrender to custody to the court of law, it is considered that justice is deferred. There are cases when an offender appears in front of the magistrates in the court of law on a different day than the one established in the first place and presents a late guilty plea which permits the case to be disposed of at some point. The problem caused by the failure to surrender to custody on time might counterweight the benefits restricting the change of plea.

The criminal defence solicitors in London can explain the entire procedure in this particular case and can give full recommendations if a person has failed to surrender to custody in a court of law. It is good to know that the delayed trial in a court of law in the UK can make the case more difficult compared to a short hearing in front of the judges on a settled date made by the authorities. Please consider that our criminal solicitors in London are able to offer representation in the court of law in serious offence cases and can explain the terms and conditions of bail before making any decision.

Medical problems as reasonable causes

In accordance with the Bail Act 1976, the medical certificates issued by the doctors in UK can be used as reasonable causes for failure to surrender to custody. We remind that the medical consultants in Great Britain are conscious of the purposes of the certificates submitted by offenders in criminal proceedings, such as reasonable cause for not respecting the bail terms. The court of law in the UK will analyze the medical certificate and if accepted, this document will be proper evidence used to fail to surrender to custody charges. Please consider that our criminal lawyer in London can help you in such cases with legal advice and support.

The considerations of public interest in failure to surrender to custody in UK

Once the offender has failed to surrender to custody in the UK, with or without a reasonable cause, the authorities can decide if this is a case of public interest, in order to proceed with the offence of failing to surrender to custody in the UK. Furthermore, the prosecutors can analyze the criminal background of the offender to see if any breach of conditions has been registered in the past. Let us remind you that our criminal solicitors in London can defend you in front of the magistrates whether you have or you don’t have a reasonable cause to surrender to custody in the UK.

Voluntary bill of indictment

In the case of an offender who was already sent to the Crown Court and who is further charged by way of voluntary bill on indictment, the CTL remains 182 days, minor the period spent in the custody of Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court proceedings. Extra details can be offered by our defence solicitors in London.

Monitoring CTL – what you need to know

The time limit for custody is monitored by the case controller or the prosecutor. The expiry date, the trial date, and if there is a need to apply for an extension for CTL enters the attention of the case prosecutor or controller. Moreover, the Head of Division and General Counsel are constantly informed of any CTL modification. In the case of CTL extension, this can be granted if specific reasons are invoked, such as illness, waiting for the testimony of a particular witness, or any other solid reason. For complete information on this matter, please feel free to ask for our legal help. Our team of criminal defence lawyers in London is at your disposal.

Can the extension of CTL be refused?

Yes, this is possible. A CTL extension can be refused at a certain point, yet, the prosecutor or the case controller can make an appeal in this matter. There is another solution too, and that is to make an application for specific conditions to be applied to bail. This is known as the CTL letter and it is mentioned by the Criminal Procedure Rules. One should know that CTL appeals enter the attention of the Crown Court. Feel free to discuss with us all the details and information you need.

FAQ about time limit for custody

1. When is an offender released under bail conditions?
If the custody time limits (CTL) have been exceeded while waiting for a hearing in the court of law, the offender can be released from custody under bail conditions. Our criminal defence solicitors in London can offer legal advice.
2. What is the time limit for custody before a trial in UK?
182 days is the time limit for custody before a trial in the Crown Court. If the hearing doesn’t take place during this period, the offender can apply for bail and can be released from custody.
3. Is CTL applicable to young offenders?
Yes, the CTL starts from the day the order is given to minor offenders. Criminal offences made by young criminals are dealt in the UK Youth Court. Feel free to discuss this with our advisors.
4. Can new charges modify the custody time limit?
Yes, the custody time limit can be changed if new charges are brought. If an offender already kept into custody is informed by new crimes, he or she will the announced by the CTL modification.
5. What do you need to do if released on bail?
Offenders released on bail from police custody must respect the bail conditions. Among these, individuals must visit the local police station, otherwise, the case gets complicated.
6. What happens if I fail to surrender in a court of law?
Offenders failing to surrender to custody to the court of law can complicate the case. Some custody benefits might be eliminated. Please discuss this with our team of solicitors in London for extra information.
7. Who monitors the custody time limit?
The prosecutor or the controller case can monitor the CTL and apply for an extension if needed.
8. Can I solicit a CTL extension?
Of course, a CTL extension can be solicited and also granted by the court of law. Solid reasons like illness or a new testimony that can sustain a case can be invoked. One of our legal advisors can help you.
9. Can a CTL extension request be refused?
Yes, there are cases of custody time limit extensions that can be refused by the authorities. In most cases, the prosecutor can appeal such a decision and win. All the legal aspects can be discussed with our defence solicitors in London.
10. Why should I choose the services of a defence solicitor in London?
Custody time limits are sensitive topics for which complete assistance and advice are needed. Our team of defence solicitors in London has experience in cases like these and can present a correct defence strategy and approach. Here are some interesting facts and figures about crimes in UK:
  • According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of homicides grew by 2% in 2019.
  • Higher-harm types of violence are normally concentrated in UK’s metropolitan areas.
  • Offences involving sharp instruments increased by 7% during 2019.
  • Also, the number of homicides with a knife or other sharp instruments fell by 8% in UK, the numbers for 2019 say.
Let us remind you that you can contact our team of criminal solicitors in London for comprehensive information about the time limit for custody in UK.