Investigations and Interviews Under Caution
Investigations and interviews under caution involve a formal interview with the suspects in an investigation. You may be asked to attend voluntarily, or you may be under arrest.
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Investigations and interviews under caution involve a formal interview with the suspects in an investigation. You may be asked to attend voluntarily, or you may be under arrest. The interview starts with the officer giving you “the caution”, which is as follows:
“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention something when questioned that you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence”.
As well as the police, there are many government departments, regulators, and other law enforcement agencies with the power to carry out criminal investigations and interview suspects under caution in accordance with the rules set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).
- The HMRC
- The DWP
- The Serious Fraud Office
- The Health and Safety Executive
- The Environment Agency
- The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
- The Insolvency Service
If you attend an interview under caution voluntarily, you have the right to stop and leave the interview at any time. However, in some circumstances, attempting to do so may result in you being arrested.
You have the right to a solicitor and once you have requested a solicitor, the investigators are not allowed to ask you any questions until your solicitor has arrived.
When you attend an interview voluntarily, you may or may not know what it is about. Before the interview, the responsible officer will provide your solicitor with information about the case under investigation and an idea of the evidence against you, a process called ‘disclosure’. It is unlikely that they will reveal everything at this stage.
You will be able to have a private conversation with your solicitor to discuss the disclosure and your version of events confidentially. Your solicitor will give you advice about the law and set out your options.
It will depend on the circumstances of the cases as to whether it is in your interests to answer the questions or remain silent.
Your solicitor will remain with you throughout the interview.
If you have received a letter or phone call inviting you to an interview with the police, regulatory body, or a department of the government, you should not attend this without legal representation – you are entitled to this, and it is highly recommended that you exercise this right.
Even if you feel you have not done anything wrong, you should not attend an interview under caution without a solicitor. Without proper advice you may accidentally say something that leads to you being charged with an offence.
For specialist legal support before, during and after an interview under caution either with the police or other enforcement agency, contact our team today.