Jo Davidson on why you need a lawyer at the police station:
Things we frequently hear…
“I don’t really need a lawyer”………. Oh yes you do!
“It’ll be quicker if I don’t have a lawyer”………. Oh no it won’t!
If the police call you in for questioning – you need a lawyer.
One of the first things the police should tell you about is your right to free and independent legal advice. You will asked if you want a legal representative to attend to advise and represent you when you are interviewed. The answer should always be “yes” regardless of whether you think you’ve done anything wrong.
Whether you are asked to attend a voluntary interview at the police station or you are arrested on suspicion of a criminal offence – you always need legal advice.
Not having a lawyer benefits the police…not you!
In reality, the police much prefer to interview suspects without a lawyer present. They may suggest that you will be released sooner if you don’t have a lawyer – or that you don’t really need a lawyer because it’s “not that serious…” This is completely untrue. Firstly having a legal representative may actually result in you being released sooner as we will press the police to deal with their investigations diligently and expeditiously. Your lawyer may also be able to persuade the police not to remand you in to custody if you are charged.
You may be told that it will take hours for your lawyer to get to the station. Again this is untrue. Whilst the police have an initial 24 hours to detain you in custody, we have just 45 minutes to get to the station to see you.
A lawyer at the police station is free for everyone
You may think that you can’t afford a lawyer. But we’re free to all! Everyone is entitled to legal aid at the police station regardless of their income.
Whether you’ve been arrested for shoplifting or murder and whether you think you’ve done something wrong or not, you always need legal advice and representation at the police station. Anything and everything you say is recorded. You might incriminate yourself or someone else without meaning to and this may affect you for the rest of your life.
When you can get fast, free and independent legal advice, why not use it??
For more information or to enquire about representation please contact our criminal law specialists.