Police Station Representation

If you have been arrested, or suspected of committing a criminal offence, the Police will try to interview you. During this course of questioning at a police station, it is important to know that everyone has the right to legal representation and advice.

A police station interview can be a daunting and unnerving experience, so it is important to know that our experienced lawyers will support you and appropriately advise you of your rights during this critical time.

Cases can be won, or lost, depending on what happens in the first police station interview, and we understand that it is crucial to give you exceptional representation, right from the start. Therefore, our team will attend the police station with you, and support you throughout the proceedings, so you can be assured your best interests are protected.

Can the police interview you without a solicitor?

If you’re being questioned at a police station, you have the right to legal advice. Once you have asked for legal advice, the police cannot question you until you’ve got it. The police may offer you the station’s ‘duty-solicitor’ through the Defence Solicitor Call Centre (DSCC), but you can also choose your own solicitor. The longest you can be held at a Police Station is 24 hours after arriving. This can be extended up to 36 or 96 hours, if you are suspected of a serious crime, such as murder. Detention at Police Station may also last up to 14 days for suspected terrorism cases.

All police interviews are recorded and can be used as evidence, therefore being accompanied by a solicitor at your police station interview is advantageous to you because they will advise on the best approach to the line of questioning.

You also have the right to a copy of the PACE codes leaflet, which explains your rights whilst in custody, as well as an interpreter if English isn’t your first language, food that meets your dietary requirements, access to a doctor if you’re feeling unwell and a warm cell, including blankets and tea/coffee.

If you are under 18 or otherwise vulnerable by reason of mental health or learning disability, an appropriate adult, who may be your parent or guardian, must be called and be present for the interview. An appropriate adult will not already have a criminal record or be involved in the action.

What is a police station representative?

A police station representative (or ‘rep’) is a legal representative or solicitor instructed by an appropriate practice who is assigned to assist a client when they are being interviewed and questioned at the police station on suspicion of committing a criminal offence.

If you are due to attend a police station interview or are about to be questioned by the police in relation to a criminal offence, it is vital that you act fast and instruct an experienced solicitor to act as your legal representative and safeguard your rights during the course of questioning.

If you choose to have a solicitor from Simon Bethel Solicitors represent you at a police station, we will first meet with the interviewing officer to obtain disclosure. The police then have an obligation to give us enough time to advise you about what to do in your interview i.e., whether you should answer questions, or exercise your right to silence and answer, “no comment” to all questions.

Your solicitor will be present during the interview to ensure it is properly conducted according to law, and to assist you at any point, including stopping the interview to receive further advice if required. Your solicitor will also make sure nothing you say is misunderstood or misconstrued during the interview process.

In some instances, such as minor offences, people may think they don’t need a legal representative, but questioning can take many forms and directions, so it is always recommended you have an expert on your side, even at the start.

What happens in a ‘no comment’ police station interview?

Anyone can be interviewed by a police officer, if there is reason to believe they may have information regarding a potential criminal offence.

During the police interview, a suspect can deal with the interview in one of four different ways:

1. Provide a ‘no comment’ interview and exercise their right to silence
2. Answer some police questions
3. Answer all police questions
4. Make a prepared statement

It is crucial the right approach is taken towards the police interview, to ensure the correct foundations are laid for your case should it progress to trial. A lawyer is the most appropriate person to advise you of the best course of action to take.

What is an interview under caution?

Interview under caution occurs when a suspect is formally questioned about their involvement or suspicion of having committed an offence. This may be by voluntary invitation to the police station or under arrest.

A caution is:

“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention something when questioned about something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence”.

Whether you are interviewed under caution following arrest or invited on a voluntary basis, it is important that you have the assistance of a lawyer. We will be on hand to give you such legal advice and assistance.

Our Police Station Representatives.

We have specialist teams of solicitors that can be called on for a wide range of cases from minor driving offences to assault and serious fraud claims.

In cases of emergency or out of hours, you can contact us on any of the following mobile numbers: 07810716130 or 07903914320. We are happy to assist you 24 hours of the day including bank holidays.

Talk to one of our fraud and financial crime solicitors today by calling 020 8297 7933 or emailing info@simonbethel.co.uk.

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