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The Telegraph's legal expert Solicitor Advocate Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors has vast experience of how the law works. Here, he advises you on your rights if you are detained or arrested by the police.

If the police suspect that someone has committed or is committing an offence punishable by imprisonment, their normal procedure is to detain the suspect for investigation.

This detention is normally called a Detention under Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act.

If you are detained by the police, you must be taken as quickly as is practicable to a police station and they have six hours to question you.

At the end of the six hours, the police either have to charge you or release you.

When you are detained, you must be informed of the nature of the offence and the reason for the detention.

The police have the right to question you as a suspect and the right to take DNA samples.

You are under no obligation to answer any question other than to give your name and address.

You are entitled to have your solicitor informed of the detention as well as one other person reasonably named by you, but your solicitor has no right to visit you.

However, the police may simply arrest you without going through the formalities of detention.

Upon arrest, the police have the right to search you on the spot.

You will normally be taken to a police station. Once at the police station you are entitled to have your solicitor informed and they must be given access to see you.

If you have been arrested and charged with an offence, the police may release you and send a report to the Procurator Fiscal who will decide whether or not to prosecute.

The police may also liberate you on an Undertaking to appear at court on a specified date. This is normally what happens in drink driving cases for example.

If you are liberated on such an Undertaking, you must appear at court on the specified date otherwise the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

If you are released without an Undertaking it is likely that you will have to wait some months before hearing anything further from the Procurator Fiscal.

If, however, you are released on an Undertaking the case will normally call within a week and you should consult your solicitor immediately to protect your interests.

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