What is a voluntary Police Interview?
The process of a Voluntary Police Interview will begin with contact from a Police Officer asking that you attend either at a specified police station, or arrange a time for them to attend at your home address. Do not ignore it
The Officer may give you brief details about what the interview is about but they will not ask you questions about the allegations/investigation outside the formal interview situation. You are entitled to free legal advice even though you are attending voluntarily,.
You will be asked to agree a time for your attendance and once you have done so you should contact a firm of criminal solicitors. It is important that you highlight any vulnerabilities you may have and any special requirements such as an interpreter or appropriate adult.
You may be told that if you fail to attend you will be arrested, this is only if there are sufficient reasons which make an arrest necessary or if new information comes to light.
Do I need a Solicitor?
There has been a significant increase in the number of voluntary interview requests lately. You may be invited by an officer “for a chat” or to “tell your side of the story,” it is important to remember however that this will be under police caution and therefore should be treated with the relevant regard.
We often hear individuals saying “I haven’t done anything wrong so why do I need a solicitor”, that might be the case but you are entitled to legal advice. Exercising this right is not an indication of guilt or innocence. Alongside this as you have attended as a volunteer you will not be given a time or date to return for an update; a solicitor will continue to monitor and update you on the investigation.
What should you do if you are invited in for a Voluntary Interview?
First of all don’t panic; make arrangements for the interview or if you do not feel comfortable doing so make a note of the Officer’s name and ask your Solicitor to do so.
Arrange for an experienced solicitor to attend with you, it is usually beneficial to speak to them beforehand via telephone in case there are any documents they believe you should take with you for evidential purposes.
The Police Station Interview is your first opportunity to put across your account; it will be referred to throughout any following court case. It is therefore vital that you are fully advised throughout such an interview.
Remember, no two police investigations are the same and therefore if you have been represented by a solicitor for a previous matter don’t just assume the advice would be the same.
Our team of experienced solicitors are on hand to offer advice 24 hours a day. We can be contacted during office hours on 01325 28 11 11 or out of hours on 07391138975.