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Are the Police Still Interviewing Suspects During "Lockdown"?

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In a word, YES! It is important that you also know your rights remain the same….

What are my rights if the police want to interview me?

If your are interviewed by the Police either under arrest or voluntarily then you have the right to free, independent legal advice. This right is also available to anyone who is being interviewed and includes voluntary interviews.

Why do I need legal representation in interview?

During Police interview the Police may ask irrelevant or inadmissible questions or question you in a particular manner. Answering these questions may result in your admitting something you have not done, not clearly raising a defence that you have or answering in a prejudicial way. All interviews are recorded and anything you do say whilst under caution may harm your defence and may be given in evidence.

Do I still have the same rights now we have “social distancing”?

Social distancing does not diminish your rights under PACE. You are still entitled to have legal advice and a legal advisor present during your interview. Some interviews are being held where your legal advisor does not attend the interview in person but via live link. You will still have the chance to have a private consultation with your legal advisor after they have received disclosure from the Police and before you are asked questions by the Police.

Your legal advisor will be able to intervene during your interview in the same way they would if they were present in person.

What if the Police tell me I don’t need legal advice?

It is not the role of a Police Officer to advise you about whether or not you need legal advice. An independent legal advisor is qualified to advise you about this and you can ask to speak to one on the phone. At Johnson Astills we would always advise you to have the benefit of an expert in criminal justice attend the interview. It is your right and experience tells us that things are more likely to go wrong if you do not have the protection of a legal advisor during interview.

What if the Police tell me it is just a chat and not an interview?

Recently, a client contacted us to inform us that a police officer attended her address and  offered them an immediate interview on their doorstep. This put her under pressure to have an interview without even having consulted a solicitor or having one present. However, anything she said could be used as evidence against her in court. Fortunately, she contacted Johnson Astills to query the procedure and we were able to speak to the Police on her behalf.

Can I have legal representation for a Voluntary interview?

Yes you are entitled to the normal protections that are stated under PACE.

If you are in any doubt as to whether the Police are actually intending to interview you then you can contact us so that we can speak to the Police and clarify the purpose of any interview. It is important that you protect yourself when speaking to the Police if they are investigating an offence.

Johnson Astills would like to reassure our clients we are still able to attend our clients at the Police Station and Courts safely and in accordance with current governmental guidance. Our crime team have been categorised by the government as essential workers providing key services within the administration of justice by providing urgent representation and defence to those detained at police stations.

How we can help?

If you find yourself arrested or invited to attend a voluntary interview under caution for any offence Johnson Astills Solicitors can help throughout the course of the proceedings, from the Police Station through to a Court Case. We offer professional legal advice and have specialist solicitors who deal with all criminal allegations and Covid-19 related offending. 

Representation at the Police Station is free, and legal aid may be available for your case at the Magistrates’ and Crown Court. For offences which do not qualify for legal aid, we offer affordable fixed fees for appointments and representation.

Johnson Astills are experts in criminal law, and are able to assist 24 hours of the day whether at the Police Station or at Court. If you need advice or assistance from the crime team at Johnson Astills, please contact us on 0116 255 4855.