If you are the subject of a criminal investigation of any kind you will almost always be the subject of an interview by the investigating authority, be it the police or other body such as the Serious Fraud Office, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or Trading Standards.
These interviews will invariably be interviews conducted under caution and as a result you have the right to seek legal advice from a solicitor and be represented throughout the process by a solicitor.
If you believe that you are the subject of an enquiry or investigation then taking early steps to obtain legal advice is crucial. Proper advice can make the difference between arranging to attend for interview voluntarily and being arrested. Not only does arrest carry with it significant inconvenience and can be damaging to your reputation, it also has consequences that flow from it such as spending time in custody at the police station, the taking and retention of samples and the potential for the imposition of bail conditions that affect your liberty and freedom of movement. The very fact that you have been arrested, irrespective of whether any proceedings are ever brought, can prevent entry to certain countries such as the USA and is particularly damaging for those involved in international business.
The team at Cunninghams has significant experience in negotiating a voluntary attendance with the investigatory body thus avoiding our clients arrest. An arrest is rarely inevitable.
Sometimes, however an arrest can take place without warning. This can happen in cases where the investigators believe vital material or evidence could be compromised if prior notification was given. In cases of serious fraud an arrest can often coincide with a dawn raid on business or domestic premises. In allegations of complex and organised crime the investigating authority, normally the police, may feel the suspect is a flight risk and there is a need to make an arrest. Even if an arrest is made we are invariably able to negotiate release without bail conditions being imposed. If conditions are imposed we will ensure that they are subject to continual review and in the event that the police seek to charge you with an offence and withhold bail entirely our lawyers have a first rate track record in persuading the Court to grant bail having conducted thousands of such applications in respect of even the gravest of charges.
The team at Cunninghams are available 24 hours per day,7 days per week to provide both advice and personal attendance at the police station to provide expert representation throughout England and Wales.
We have been providing expert advice prior to and at interview in respect of allegations of serious fraud and complex crime for thirty years and our team has advised in thousands of interviews under caution. How a suspect deals with the interview process and the advice they receive will be crucial to the future outcome of the case. It can mean the difference between being prosecuted and not being prosecuted at all. In the event that you are prosecuted it can make the difference between being convicted or acquitted. It is in many cases, the most significant part of the whole process with wrong decisions made at interview having their impact at trial many years later.
Our team regularly advises in the country’s most high profile investigations in the areas of fraud and complex crime and thus brings with it the expertise and experience to anticipate and deal with the issues that arise in these particularly specialist areas of criminal investigation.
Similarly, criminal charges do not have to be an inevitable consequence of the interview or arrest process. Our team adopt a pro active approach as soon as we are aware of a criminal investigation, positively seeking to establish at the earliest stage that there is insufficient evidence to justify a criminal charge or that even if there was such evidence that it is not in the public interest to proceed to a prosecution, rather than simply waiting for matters to take their course. We have significant experience in applying the guidance under the Code for Crown Prosecutors to make the appropriate representations that criminal charges are not appropriate.
Our advice and representation is all Director led meaning you will have direct access to some of the UK’s most highly rated lawyers in the fields of serious fraud and complex crime and the earlier that you make contact the more can be achieved in your defence.
Cunninghams are regularly asked by clients to take over their case from Solicitors that they have previously instructed. This can happen at any stage of an investigation or prosecution.
There can be many reasons for this. Their existing solicitor may feel that for professional reasons they can no longer continue to represent their client, they may no longer feel that they have the necessary expertise or they may no longer be allowed to represent their client in respect of a particularly serious case because they are not members of the VHCC panel. In some cases, a client’s relationship with their solicitor has simply broken down, or they have lost complete confidence in their solicitor’s ability to represent them properly. Some clients feel that transferring representation will be an awkward, embarrassing or difficult process, and for cases which are publicly funded there are strict criteria which must be present before a case is transferred to another solicitor.
At Cunninghams we are used to dealing with such enquiries and can reassure clients that any transfer of their case will be smooth, free of embarrassment and always in their best interests.