In recent years the police inviting an individual to come to the police station for voluntary interview has increased in popularity. Generally, it has significant benefits for both sides as it avoids an unnecessary arrest and potentially a long wait in the cells before interview for the interviewee. It ensures that there is the opportunity to arrange a mutually convenient day and time for the police, interviewee and legal representative to take place. Contact can be made with the police officer to obtain disclosure and have discussions prior to the interview process, ensuring that you are advised thoroughly of the procedure and everything is properly set and ready for the interview to take place.
However, what is apparent is that this more informal procedure can encourage the mistaken view that no solicitor is needed by you, despite nothing being further from the truth. When the case gets to court and one is checking about legal advice at the interview stage all too often the response is “I didn’t do anything wrong so didn’t think I needed it.” Whilst the police are obliged to state that you are entitled to a solicitor, its importance is all too often lost in the relatively informal set up of a voluntary interview.
The interview under caution is the point at which the best possible foundations can be put down relating to a good defence, or for early damage limitation to occur. At this stage expert advice can lead to successful representations to the CPS and/or police to divert a case from going to court. Without skilled and determined legal advice and representation these opportunities can be irrevocably lost to your detriment.
If you are contacted and invited in for a voluntary interview make no mistake that legal representation is a must to safeguard yourself and ensure the best possible outcome for you. Gepp Solicitors regularly attend police stations throughout Essex and Suffolk including Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree, Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds, Marsham and Harlow to name but a few. We also regularly attend police stations in and around London.