Police Station Advice
If you are accused or charged with a criminal offence, it’s natural to have questions and worries about what could happen. A conviction for any criminal offence can have a major impact on your life and career, whether there is a risk of a prison sentence or not. Likewise even a “minor” motoring offence could cost you your licence, affecting your employment and everyday life.
If you are arrested and taken for an interview by the police, it can be an immensely stressful and worrying time for both you and your family. It is crucial that you do not despair, as help is just a phone call away. You have the right to be represented by a solicitor of your choice. A solicitor that you can trust. A solicitor that will give you honest advice from the outset of the matter.
At Spartans Law we are proud of our ability to give clear advice tailored to the individual client. We also fight at every stage of a case to achieve the best outcome possible, whether that’s a Not Guilty verdict at trial or a good sentence on a Guilty plea.
It is important that you understand your rights, and what can be involved in a police investigation.
To help, we have outlined some of the most frequently asked questions below. If you or someone you know is facing investigation, or you have any specific questions that we can help you with, Contact Us and we will help.
• What are my rights?
• Do I need a Solicitor?
• The Police want to speak to me, what should I do?
• The Police have arrested someone I know/a family member. Can you help?
• How much will it cost?
• What will happen at the police station?
• What if the police want to interview a child or someone who does not speak English very well?
• How long will it take?
What are my rights?
1.You have the right to Free and Independent legal advice. This right means that you can speak to a solicitor at any time you are in the police station, and have a legal advisor with you during the interview. This is one of the most important rights, as having a solicitor can make a huge difference to the outcome of your case
2. You have the right to have someone informed where you are. This does not mean you will be able to speak to them, and in some cases the police can delay informing people if it is necessary to do so
3. You have the right to read a copy of the laws relating to your detention at the police station (PACE Codes of Practice)
4. You have the right to speak to a doctor or nurse if you have an illness or injury that might affect you while you are at the police station
5.You have the right to be given food and drink, and to be given a period of rest that should not be interrupted
The most important right that you will need to think about is whether to ask for a solicitor. If you have someone representing you, they can explain the rest of these rights to you.
Do I need a Solicitor?
You have a right to legal advice, and for a solicitor to represent you at the police station. This is because police interviews can be complicated, worrying, and can change your entire life. It is very easy to say something that comes across wrong, or could be misinterpreted by the police, which can have a devastating impact on your case.
If you have a solicitor with you, you will get the chance to hear details of the allegation against you, including any evidence the police will be relying on to charge you.
Most cases are either won or lost at the police station. If the police do not have sufficient evidence against you, they will not be able to bring the matter to trial. It is crucial that you instruct us from the outset of the case so that we can dispose of the matter where possible.
Our role is to safeguard your interest at every stage.
Legal advice at the police station is free of charge regardless of the offence or income of the defendant. Remember ‘you do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court.’ This statement in itself expresses the need for requisite legal advice.
The Police want to speak to me, what should I do?
If the police want to speak to you about an incident, they probably think that you are guilty of something. They often say they just want an informal chat, but when you get to the Police Station you will find that everything you say is being written down or recorded, and could be used in Court as evidence.
This means that anything you say could make a huge difference to the outcome of any case. With something so serious, you want to make sure you have the best possible outcome. This requires the best representation available to you.
We can speak to the police before you attend, to find out what exactly they need to speak to you about. We will be with you at the police station, making sure you are treated fairly and properly. Most importantly though, we will make sure that you are given the best advice to achieve the best outcome possible in your case.
There is no cost or fee for us to attend the police station with you contact us to discuss how we can help you.
The Police have arrested someone I know/a family member. Can you help?
If your husband or wife, son or daughter, or any other family member has been arrested, we may be able to help represent them. Call us to discuss what has happened, and we will do everything we can to help.
We can contact the police station and find out if a solicitor has been instructed. If not, we can ask whether the suspect wants to speak to us about representation.
How much will it cost?
The Legal Aid system in England and Wales makes sure that anybody who is arrested or interviewed for a criminal offence has free legal advice. If you are arrested, you will have enough on your mind. The last thing you need to worry about is how you will be able to afford to be represented.
What will happen at the police station?
If you are arrested for an offence, you have been taken to custody so that the police can interview. The technical term the police will use is “obtain evidence by way of questioning.” This simply means they want to know what you have to say about an incident.
However, the police will think that you are guilty. They will treat you, and question you, in a way that tries to prove that they are right. This can make a worrying and distressing time even more difficult for you.
Before the interview takes place, the police may have to make more enquiries and take statements. While this happens, you may have to wait in a cell. If you have asked for a solicitor, we will regularly call the police custody desk, to get updates on when the officers will be ready for the interview. As soon as we know they are going to be ready, we will be there to represent you.
What if the police want to interview a child or someone who does not speak English very well?
If you are 16 or under, or have a learning difficulty or mental health condition, you will also be entitled to have an appropriate adult with you when you are interviewed. This can either be a family member or a social worker, who is independent of the police. Their job is to make sure you understand what is being said to you, and that the police do not treat you in an unfair way.
If you have difficulties speaking English, the police will arrange for an interpreter to come to the police station. It is important that you understand exactly what is happening and what you are being asked, so it is only fair that you have an interpreter to help you if needed.
How long will it take?
This depends on many different factors. After an arrest, the police will probably need to take further statements before they are ready to interview a suspect. If you have asked for a solicitor, we will contact the police station to get all the information we can, before explaining the situation to you. This also means that we will be ready to attend the interview as soon as the police are ready.
If the police tell you that having a solicitor will make everything take longer, you need to wonder whether you can trust that! There is so much at stake, even for a simple allegation, that it is important that you deal with each stage
After the interview, the police may have to send their file to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on whether to charge you. Sometimes you will be kept at the police station while this is done, or alternatively you could be bailed to return to the police station when this decision has been made. If you are kept at the police station, we will keep calling the police to get updates on what is happening.
Appearing in Court to face an allegation can be a very difficult time for you, and it is natural for you to be worried and nervous even if you are confident you are innocent. This is why it is important that you are represented by the best solicitors for your case. No matter how serious the case against you, the solicitors at Spartans Law understand that you need support as well as strong and dependable legal advice and representation.