What is a Voluntary Interview?
There are circumstances where the Police wish to speak to someone regarding a particular matter but it is doubtful as to whether an arrest is necessary. It will not necessarily stop an arrest taking place in certain circumstances, but where a suspect indicates that they would be willing to attend the Police Station for an interview, this may remove the necessity for an arrest.
Often people are left in little doubt that if they do not attend then they will be arrested. It does give a person contacted by the police some advantages in terms of being able to attend at a date and time that might be more convenient to them as well as being able to contact a solicitor.
Is a Voluntary Interview a real interview?
Yes and any interview will be recorded and take place under caution meaning that it may be used in evidence, this means that you have to same rights as someone who has just been arrested, so you are entitled to Free Legal Advice and Representation at the interview.
Should I bring a Solicitor to a Voluntary Interview?
We would say yes, absolutely you should, do not give up your right of free representation.
A solicitor will be able to advise you in answering questions or deciding not to do so. In some circumstances, you might not have to answer questions, if you were nervous about doing so and can instead prepare a statement setting out your position in relation to the situation that the police wish to interview you about.
A solicitor will be able to advise you about alternatives to being charged, such as accepting a police caution, and advise you on the implications.
You are less likely to be charged with an offence if you are properly advised and represented.
Is it free?
Advice in respect of a Police Station Investigation is free and solicitors are paid by the Legal Aid Agency. There is no financial test to qualify for advice in respect of Voluntary Interviews with the Police.
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