police interview

Attending a voluntary police interview

A voluntary interview is a method employed by the police to question individuals without necessitating an arrest or formal booking into custody. This approach conserves time and resources for law enforcement and provides a more streamlined process for conducting suspect interviews. Typically, the interview can be scheduled at a mutually convenient time. 

Despite its seemingly informal nature, a voluntary interview entails serious questioning as individuals are suspected of committing a criminal offence. The police initiate the interview with the same caution as they would with an arrested individual. Anything said or withheld during the interview can be used as evidence in court. 

What happens if I decline a voluntary police interview? 

Although labelled as ‘voluntary,’ refusing to attend a voluntary interview doesn’t come without consequences. Such refusal may prompt the police to opt for an arrest, leading to a standard police interview instead. 

Should I consult a solicitor before a police interview? 

It’s crucial to seek legal representation if invited to a voluntary interview to safeguard your legal rights from the outset. Contrary to its casual label, a voluntary interview isn’t merely a casual conversation with the police. Upon learning of accusations, whether innocent or guilty, enlisting the assistance of a criminal law solicitor is advisable. They can explain your rights and provide essential support. 

Facing police questioning, whether in a station or another location like your home, can be intimidating. Hence, having solicitor support promptly is imperative. 

Should I have a solicitor at the police station? 

Your solicitor is your advocate, always prioritising your best interests in the matter. It is your legal entitlement to have a solicitor present while under arrest, voluntarily attending a police station, or being interviewed by the police as a suspect, anywhere. 

You have the right to contact your personal solicitor. However, if unavailable or if you don’t have one, a duty solicitor is accessible 24/7. Their role is to provide you with comprehensive support throughout the legal proceedings.  

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