What are my options if I am subject to interview conducted by the police?

Interview conducted by the police

If you are a suspect of being involved in committing a criminal offence you will be subjected to an interview which will be conducted by the police. It is highly advisable that you seek independent legal advice in relation to this so that you can consult your solicitor and he will explain the process of the interview and will  come  with you to the police station as it is your primary right to have your solicitor with you while you are being questioned. Your solicitor will give you all necessary information about the interview and he will also prepare you for the same. First of all, it is important to mention that you have several options to choose from in relation to the interview. As a suspect you always have the right to silence although inferences may be drawn from the suspect’s silence as a consequence which flows from being silent. Those circumstances when interference can be drawn are defined in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. The interview must also be conducted under caution in order for it to be legal. There are several options that you may choose from, these are considered below.

Silence         

One of the options that your solicitor may advise you is to remain silent. This would be an appropriate action to take if there is not sufficient amount of evidence so that the police could prosecute you. You may also decide to remain silent if there was not adequate disclosure made to you, or if it is the best option for you as a suspect and it is in accordance with your circumstances. If you do decide to remain silent there are several advantages as well as disadvantages which could follow from this action to remain silent. The advantages are that the suspect is by this way taking control of his circumstances and situation as he is the one who controls what to say. If you do decide to remain silent you will also protect yourself from self-incrimination which in other words means that you will not create any evidence which would have adverse effects on your case and you will also not represent yourself in a way which would be revealed to the police and damage you. The disadvantage of remaining silent is that the police can draw adverse inferences from your silence. It is highly advisable that you answer the questions of the police in case that the above circumstances do not exist or when you want to convince the police not to charge an offence or when you want to avoid any adverse inference. The advantage in answering questions is that you will avoid adverse inferences, also if you are cooperating with the police this may seem as a positive point and may be raised as a mitigation point in relation to your case.

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For more information on:

  • The role of a solicitor who is present at the interview