arrest and interview

Why you should never be interviewed without legal representation

October 20, 2023

At Cunninghams Solicitors, we specialise in criminal defence and understand how daunting it can be to be called for an interview by the police. If you require a skilled criminal defence solicitor, look no further than Cunninghams Solicitors. We understand the importance of early legal representation, especially during voluntary interviews and arrests. By instructing us at the earliest stage, you can benefit from our expertise in preparing for interviews, reducing your time at the police station, and receiving comprehensive advice throughout the investigation process. At Cunninghams Solicitors, our proactive approach ensures that your case is handled efficiently and fairly, aiming for early resolutions without court proceedings. Trust us to protect your rights and provide unwavering support during this critical time.

Voluntary attendance: When you are requested to attend a voluntary interview, there are certain benefits to consider. One advantage is that you have the opportunity to engage with a criminal defence solicitor at an earlier stage. This allows you to be well-prepared for the interview and reduces the time spent at the police station.

At Cunninghams, we often receive instructions before a voluntary interview. We can communicate with the police beforehand, obtain necessary information, and consult with the client to gather their instructions. This enables us to strategise for the interview, advising the client on their options and the pros and cons of different approaches. We can then accompany them to the voluntary interview and provide representation during the process.

Under arrest: If you are placed under arrest, there is a temptation to proceed with an interview without legal representation. The police may wrongly advise you that requesting a criminal defence solicitor will cause significant delays. After spending considerable time in custody, you might hastily decide to undergo the interview without proper representation.

If you request representation, once they are ready for the interview, the officers will contact the criminal defence solicitor, and the only delay would be waiting for their arrival. In most cases, the solicitor can attend within 45 minutes.

Once present, the criminal defence solicitor will receive a pre-interview briefing, either verbally or in written form.

Police interview: During a police interview, the interviewee is questioned on various matters while under caution. Having a criminal defence solicitor present provides reassurance and allows the solicitor to intervene if necessary and provide ongoing advice throughout the interview.

Post-interview: Following the interview, there can be several outcomes. The case may be resolved at the police station stage. However, if the investigation is ongoing, such as when an individual is released under investigation, the assistance, support, and advice from the instructed solicitor are invaluable.

Investigation: The bail period undergoes reviews throughout the investigative process, and a proactive approach becomes crucial.

For a prosecution to proceed, the police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) must be satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of conviction based on the evidence, and the prosecution must be in the public interest. In such cases, solicitors often advise clients that after the interview, they must wait until the investigation is concluded.

The concept of pre-charge engagement between investigators and the defence is not new. In 2020, there was formal recognition of the “pre-charge engagement” concept, leading to increased levels of engagement between investigators, prosecutors, and the defence.

Additional interviews may be scheduled as the investigation progresses.

Once the investigative phase concludes, the case will likely be referred to a CPS reviewing lawyer who will make the final charging decision.

Written representations: Since the solicitor has been involved from the beginning and throughout the process, they will be well-informed about any updates in the prosecution’s case. It may also be appropriate to submit written pre-charge representations to the CPS during their decision-making process.

In summary, engaging a criminal defence solicitor as early as possible is always advisable. This ensures that the interview is conducted properly and that the ongoing investigation progresses efficiently and fairly. Contact Cunninghams Solicitors today; Cunninghams initial advice is always free and can be contacted at 0800 051 2542 or online.