What is a voluntary police interview?
A voluntary police interview or interview under caution is a conversation in a formal capacity with police. This usually takes place at a police station. Legally you do not have to attend and, if you do, you can leave at any time once the interview has begun. However, you could be arrested and face a standard police interview if you fail to attend or decide to leave.
Although the interview is usually carried out in a more informal way than one conducted if you are under arrest, the conversation is still recorded. Anything said can potentially be used against you in any following criminal proceedings.
You have the right to a solicitor during a voluntary interview. Once you have requested a solicitor, you will not be asked any questions until they are in attendance.
Should I speak to the police voluntarily?
Yes, you should attend if requested. Bear in mind the interview will be recorded. The main thing is to make sure you do not say anything to increase your chance of being charged with an offence.
To ensure you are protected, it is advised that you have a criminal defence lawyer with you during a police interview.
Should I have a lawyer for a voluntary police interview?
Yes, you should. Saying the wrong thing could lead to you being arrested or charged with a criminal offence. Any mistakes you make at this stage could be difficult to recover from later.