If you are arrested, and taken for interview by the police, it can be an immensely stressful and worrying time for both you and your family. It is important that you understand your rights, and what can be involved in a police investigation. More importantly though, it is crusial that you are represented by solicitors you can rely on, and who will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
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?
If you are arrested, or the police interview you under caution (see below), you have certain rights:
- 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.
- 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.
- You have the right to read a copy of the laws relating to your detention at the police station (PACE Codes of Practice)
- 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
- 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.
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 change your whole case.
If you have a solicitor with you, you will get the chance to hear details of the allegation against you before the interview begins. You will get a chance to explain your side of the incident to an independent solicitor, and you will be advised on the best way to proceed with the interview.
If a police officer asks why you think you need a solicitor, remember these things:
- It is your right to have legal advice, and it costs you nothing- you do not need to justify it
- We are here to help you, not the police.
- We work to get the best outcome for you, not the police.
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, so contact us to discuss how we can help you.
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.
All this is free, and we can arrange for representation throughout the Country.
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.
The solicitors at Stephen Lickrish & Associates are proud of the high quality of service we offer to clients. You will get the same treatment and professional representation whether you are paying us privately, or your case is paid for through Legal Aid.
When your police station case is finished, we will submit our bill to the Legal Services Commission. You will not be required to pay anything to us. It really is that simple.
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.
If you are 16 or under, or have a learning difficulty or mental health condition, you will also be entitled to have anappropriate 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.
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.