The Police Interview Process
For many of us, the prospect of a Police interview under caution is extremely daunting and you may not know what to expect or how the process works.
The reason you are being interviewed under caution is because the Police suspect you to be responsible for a criminal offence. Once you are under caution, the Police can use anything you say against you at any subsequent Trial. It is therefore extremely important that you have legal representation at your interview.
It is a common misperception that bringing a legal representative to your interview will make you look guilty, but we can assure you that it does not. We regularly represent professionals who are arrested during the course of their employment who always ensure they have legal advice even when vehemently protesting their innocence. Legal advice is your right, and one which we strongly advise you to exercise.
Regardless of whether you are interviewed voluntarily or you are under arrest, the interview process is split into four stages: –
Your legal representative will meet with the interviewing officer(s) to obtain information relating to your case. We will ask all of the necessary questions, such as the circumstances of the offence, what evidence they have against you (including viewing any CCTV) and how they intend on dealing with the matter, such as whether any out of court disposals are available.
Following disclosure, you will have a private consultation with your legal representative. We will advise you on the legal elements of the offence in question and go through all of the information obtained during disclosure with you. You can then provide the legal representative with your interpretation of the allegation and we will advise you on the best course of action (e.g. whether to answer questions or exercise your right to silence). We will also provide you with advice regarding the caution and your legal rights and entitlements whilst you are at the Police Station.
Once you have been fully briefed and all of your queries have been answered, you will proceed to an interview with the Police. The legal representative will be with you the whole time but will only intervene if necessary. You have the right to pause the interview and have a further private consultation with your legal representative at any time during the interview.
The interview will be conducted under caution, which is as follows: –
“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence”.
4. Post-Interview Consultation
Once the interview has concluded, you will have a further consultation with your legal representative who will confirm the next steps.
If you do not have the assistance of the legal representative, you will proceed immediately to stage 3, the interview, and will not have the benefit of prior disclosure. It is therefore in your best interests, regardless of whether you are guilty or not, to instruct legal representation.
All advice at the Police Station under caution, regardless of whether you are attending voluntarily or under arrest, is free under the Police Station Advice and Assistance Scheme.
If you are contacted by the Police and asked to attend the Police Station voluntarily, please contact us on 0191 232 9547 in advance and we can arrange to attend with you. If you are arrested and taken to the Police Station, you will be asked by the Custody Sergeant whether you wish to have legal advice. Please ask for David Gray Solicitors by name. We will be notified immediately and will attend at the Police Station whenever the Officers are ready to interview you.
If you have any other queries regarding the Police Station process or require any other crime solicitor advice, please contact one of our Police Station Representatives, Hannah Mostoufi, on 0191 232 9547 extension 1412.