Do I need a Solicitor for Police Interview?

July 28, 2020, By

Whatever the reason you have been called into the police station for interview, we would strongly advise that you seek professional police station representation. It is much to your advantage to be accompanied by a solicitor for police interview because they can advise on the best approach to your interview.

Without a solicitor, it can be difficult to ensure you answer questions appropriately. Having a solicitor at the police interview will ensure that you can talk through the situation and be guided by a legal professional who deals with these situations on a daily basis.

We asked our Partner & Head of Crime, Rachel Fletcher, some questions to find out more about why having a solicitor for police interview is important, and what they can do to help.

Q. Should I take a solicitor to the police station?

All police interviews are recorded and can be used in evidence. Whether you have been arrested or invited in for an interview, it is a highly stressful situation and a very daunting and lonely experience. People often say something they later come to regret, but once recorded, it becomes difficult to explain.

Having a solicitor prior to a police interview means that they can gather as much information about the investigation as possible from you in private, before you go into questioning. The solicitor can then figure out what is alleged and the best way to approach it.

Going through this with the solicitor will help you to also gather your thoughts, so that you will know what to expect when interrogated. Your solicitor will make sure that nothing you say can be misconstrued or twisted.

If you are arrested and had no prior warning, then you certainly won’t be thinking straight and will need someone to ensure that you are afforded your rights and entitlements. More often than not if you are arrested and don’t take advantage of a solicitor the police will tell you very little, if anything, about the allegations that have been made against you. A solicitor will ensure you are in possession of the basic facts before the interview begins.

Q. What happens if I talk to the police without a lawyer?

Whether it is your first time being interviewed by the police or not, it is difficult to navigate the extent of a police interview alone.

The police will be happy to talk to you without a solicitor, as it makes their life easier without a legal expert in the room to be on your side.

Sometimes, people will think that they don’t need legal representation because it is something minor, but questioning can take many directions, and it is best to be safe in the hands of an expert.

Q. What if I am arrested and don’t have the chance to contact a solicitor first?

If this is the case, any family or friends who know you have been arrested may be able to get in touch with your solicitor to notify them that you need their help.

If you don’t have a solicitor, there is a duty solicitor at the police station. You will have the choice to use the duty solicitor’s services or to contact a different solicitor and ask them to come down.

Can I say ‘no comment’ to everything?

Yes, everybody has a right to silence, but this may not always be the best course of action. Failure to answer questions could in fact be used against you in court, should it go to trial.

A thorough understanding of the potential repercussions of behaviour in police questioning will help to make sure that you make the right decisions. Having the guidance of a solicitor for police interview at the station will reassure you of the best approach to different questions.

Q. What if I am taken into questioning after hours?

When you contact a Slater Heelis solicitor for police interview guidance, it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. We make ourselves available around the clock to ensure the best service for our clients.

Q. What happens after the interview?

When the police are satisfied that you have been adequately questioned, depending on the outcome you would either be:

  • Released with no charge, and told that no further action is to be taken against you.
  • Released on bail and required to return at a fixed appointment in the future; bail can be with or without conditions, this will be made clear depending on your circumstances.
  • Released under investigation, meaning that there is no specific date to return, and no bail charges.
  • Charged with the offence.

If you are charged with committing the offence, having any involvement, or released on bail, you must seek expert legal advice if you haven’t already. Professional guidance from a criminal defence lawyer will ensure that you get the best possible outcome.

Get in touch with a solicitor

Whether you believe you are at risk of being arrested, or you have been invited to questioning, we strongly encourage you to reach out to us for police station representation.

If you have been released and are looking for the best possible representation, our crime team are well versed in all aspects of crime, from personal matters to business-related allegations.

Call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form with your information, and our Crime team will be in touch.