20th April 2018
Police Station Interviews - Know Your Rights
At Roebucks we have extensive knowledge of protecting our client`s rights and freedom whether they are detained in a Mental Health or Criminal setting.
In this series of blogs we look at the rights of the individuals who have lost their liberty starting with at the Police Station and hear from Duty Solicitor Imran Hussain about the importance of representation.Youtube Video Link | Please Click Here.
As Imran states, one of the most important rights a detainee in a Police Station has is the right to have free (funded by Legal Aid) advice, assistance and representation by an experienced criminal lawyer. This can be vital in ensuring that an individual’s rights are protected, and they have the best possible defence. Roebucks have an experienced team of 7 duty solicitors who are on call 24 hours a day, with a dedicated number of 07903 559919. We provide specialist criminal advice in the police station and representation in the Magistrates Court and Crown Court locally and nationally.
Following an arrest, a person may be taken to a police station, where they will become referred to as a detainee. At the police station, the detainee can be held pending interviews and investigation into the alleged crime. Detainees are afforded a number of rights whilst they are in police custody.
3 KEY RIGHTS OF DETAINEES
- You are entitled to free and independent legal advice
- Ask the police to tell someone where you are
- Read a copy of CODES OF PRACTICE
This is considered by some people to be the most important!!
This does not mean that you are allowed to speak to them personally
An important book setting out how you should be treated by the police
**In exceptional circumstance these rights can be delayed**
THE TAKING OF SAMPLES
At the police station, detainees may be required to provide samples such as fingerprints and swabs. The law carefully regulates which types of samples can be taken and what sort of authority the police need. Often, you can refuse to have certain samples taken BUT you need to think extremely carefully about doing this, as a court MAY later draw negative inferences from this refusal. In other words they may think that you had something to hide.
The information provided from the samples will be kept on file and may be used as a way of identification if the detainee is arrested again in the future.
YOUNG AND MENTALLY VULNERABLE DETAINEES
Detainees who are under the age of 17 are classed as juveniles and they, along with detainees who are considered to be mentally vulnerable, must be accompanied by an ‘appropriate adult' during interviews and searches. In most cases, this adult will be a parent or guardian, although if one is not available, a social worker will be appointed. This is in addition to a Legal Advisor.
AFTER A POLICE STATION INTERVIEW
Following a police interview, the police will look at whether you should be charged and prosecuted. This does NOT mean that you are guilty – simply that there is sufficient evidence for a court to consider your case.
If you are charged, the custody sergeant will decide whether you should be given bail. The test is whether there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe that, for example, you will not turn up at court. A solicitor can help put forward a strong case for you to be given bail, albeit with bail conditions. Bail conditions can vary widely and depend on the nature of the charges, such as, not contacting a witness or being on a curfew.
Of course, if there is insufficient evidence to charge you may be released on bail (with or without conditions) to come back to the police station at a later date. If the evidence is very poor then you may be released without any further action. But if fresh evidence comes to light you MAY be arrested again.
Roebucks can assist, support and represent you every step of the way providing a non-judgemental, professional, experienced and confidential service to protect your rights.