Understanding voluntary interviews – Q&A

GEPP

12 April 2024

By Sabina Theobald

Do you need a solicitor for a voluntary interview?

We would always advise that you have a solicitor for a voluntary interview, just the same as if you were arrested and interviewed. It’s vital to ensure that a solicitor can advise as to the strength of the case and the best way to deal with an interview.

You will be under caution and anything you say whilst under this can be used as evidence in court. It’s important to ensure that you have a solicitor present to ensure that nothing said is damaging to your case.

Will I need to pay for a solicitor?

You are legally entitled to free legal advice when you are being questioned at the police station via the legal aid route. Should you wish to instruct a solicitor on a private basis, please do contact us to discuss your options.

Am I under arrest during a voluntary interview?

You are not under arrest if you attend a voluntary interview, although the police will caution you to interview you. However, it’s important to note that a voluntary interview is not an informal conversation, and the interview will still be taken as seriously as any interview under arrest.

Whilst it is unlikely that if you have attended voluntarily that the police will arrest you, there is a possibility. This often happens if there is new information or evidence that requires an arrest.

Should you refuse a voluntary interview or attempt to leave a voluntary interview, you may be arrested to give a standard interview in custody.

What happens after the interview?

The interview is often like an appointment, and you will be free to leave once the interview has concluded. Should you instruct Gepp’s, we will chase the officers for regular updates on your case and will advise you of these. You will either be charged with the offences discussed, or the case will be dropped.

Gepp Solicitors have an experienced team of Criminal Defence Solicitors, and regularly deal with voluntary interviews. Should you be invited to a voluntary interview, please contact us as soon as possible and we can contact the police to acquire police disclosure. We will then work with you to ensure an appropriate date/time is arranged and will represent you on the day of the interview.