24/7 Representation at Police Stations
If you are at the Police Station or are asked to attend an interview at the Police Station, it is your legal right to have a defence solicitor represent you, free of charge. If detained by the Police you have the right to inform someone that you have been arrested and to access medical attention if it is needed.
If you are under 18 or a vulnerable adult then the police must contact a parent, guardian, or carer. You must have a responsible adult (who may be a friend, social worker, or family member over 18) with you. Once detained at the police station you are certain to be interview by the police. We strongly advise that you do not agree to an interview without having a lawyer present.
All police station interviews are covered by legal aid funding and we are proud to be able to continue to provide criminal legal aid services to our clients. This means that regardless of your situation, a representative will be able to attend and advice you at the police station at no charge to you.
While the number of legal aid solicitors has declined sharply over the last few years, we are proud to be one of the fast growing legal aid firms. This allows us to provide the highest quality of advice and support at every stage of your criminal case.
I have been asked to attend the police station as a volunteer. What does that mean?
If you have been asked to voluntarily attend a police station, you have no obligation to attend as you have not been arrested but it is usually in your best interest to attend. You will usually be asked to get into contact with the officer in charge of your case to organise a date to attend the police station, which we will be able to do on your behalf. Once you attend the police station, you have all of the same rights as someone that has been arrested (including a right to be given information about the allegation and a right to representation) and interview will be conducted under caution. However, you are free to leave the police station at any point during the interview.
I have been arrested what are my rights?
You have a right to have a defence solicitor represent you, free of charge. You have the right to inform someone that you have been arrested and to access medical attention if it is needed. You have a right to be informed of the allegations made against you and the reason for your arrest.
If you are under 18 or a vulnerable adult then the police must contact a parent, guardian, or carer. You must have a responsible adult (who may be a friend, social worker, or family member over 18) with you.
Was does a representative do on my behalf whilst at the Police Station?
The representative will be given information regarding the allegations made against you and any evidence that the police have against you. They will go through this allegation with you in private and explain the elements of the offence that will need to be proven for you to be convicted. They will listen to your side of the story and based on this, as well as the strength of the evidence against you, they will advise you of the best strategy for the interview.
During the interview, they will in attendance to ensure that your rights are safeguarded, including your right against self-incrimination, and to ensure that the police follow the proper protocol.
After the interview, the representative will ensure that you understand what occurred during the interview and the outcome of the interview.
If you have been released under investigation or bailed to return either to the police station or to court, someone from our firm will stay in contact to make sure you are have the most up to date information on your case.
What happens once I have been interviewed by the Police?
Once the interview has concluded, the police officer that has conducted the interview will make a decision as to how the case will proceed. There are a number of different potential outcomes including:
- You being bailed to return to the police station on a date specified. This means that the police have yet to make a decision on how to proceed but will by the date provided.
- You being released under investigation. This means that the police investigation is ongoing for a period of 28 days for further consideration by the police.
- You being cautioned. This is not a criminal conviction but a note of the caution will remain on your police record for a period of time.
- You being charged. This means that they have decided to charge you for the offence and that you will be held in custody until your first appearance at a Magistrates Court or bailed to return to court on that date.
- The police decide to take no further action. This means that your police station case is concluded.
Regardless of the outcome, the representative will explain to you the decision that has been made by the police officers, the consequences of that decision and the next steps to be taken.
Will I get bail?
If you have been charged with an offence at the police station, there is a possibility that you will be given bail. This will depend on the circumstances of the offence, the severity of the allegation and whether the police believe that you will attend your first court appearance.
If you have given bail, either to return to the police station or to attend court, it is possible that they will attach conditions to your bail including signing at a police station, curfew or not to be in contact with certain involved persons.
Police Station Representation Solicitors
The criminal defence lawyers at National Legal Service Solicitors are available to attend and advise you at any time of the day or night, 365 days of the year. Everyone who attends a police station has the right to representation. It is important to have someone there to represent you before the interview so that they can go through the evidence with you, advise you on a strategy for the interview based on the strength of the evidence and to safeguard your rights during the interview. As all interviews conducted by the police are under caution, anything that is said, or omitted, may be used against you later on. Therefore, whether you are guilty or not, it is important to have someone there to advise you on how to conduct yourself in the interview to avoid self-incrimination and to ensure that the police follow the proper procedures.
Regardless of the situation, we ensure that there is an adequate amount of time for the representative to meet with you and to make sure that you have full understanding of the situation before you are interviewed. In some circumstances, we are able to get into contact with the police officer to arrange the time of the interview and to facilitate ongoing communications throughout your case at the police station.
Once your police station interview has been conducted, we will stay in contact with both you and the police officer in charge of your case. We will therefore be able to provide you with the most up to date information on your case and to provide you with ongoing support and advice.
If you, a family member, or friend requires representation at a Police Station, it is essential that you contact us immediately on 020 3601 5051 or fill in our contact form.