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Why people should have a solicitor at all PACE interviews… 4 September 2018
Do I need it – Its only a quick chat with the Police?
(1) The short answer is Yes. You need a Solicitor………….Here’s why….
(a) You are a suspect in a Criminal Case.
The Police must arrest a person when they have reasonable grounds to suspect a person’s involvement or suspected involvement or attempted involvement in the commission of a criminal offence;
they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person’s arrest is “necessary.”
The arrest must be necessary for one of the 9 reasons mentioned below:-
a) to enable the name (and address) of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain, the person’s name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name);
(b) … ;
(c) to prevent the person in question- (i) causing physical injury to himself or any other person; (ii) suffering physical injury; (iii) causing loss of or damage to property; (iv) committing an offence against public decency (subject to subsection (6)); or (v) causing an unlawful obstruction of the highway; (d) to protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question; (e) to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question; (f) to prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question.
(b) The outcome of the case could have a dramatic effect on your career and/or your life in the near future.
If the Police or Crown Prosecution service believe that you have committed a Criminal offence there is a whole array of disposals that could apply to your case. Some of the options include a fixed penalty, a Caution (warning) if you are an adult, a charge (a direction that you must appear at court to answer an allegation on a specific date) or you may be charged and remanded to appear at the next available court. If you are a Youth the options are even more varied. Utilising free Police station representation and being legally represented at the Police Station, a Solicitor can assist you through the minefield of possible disposals and the best way to deal with your case.
(c) It’s Free!
In England and Wales, there is no charge for Legal Representation at the Police Station. Police station representation is free and provided by the Legal Aid Agency. The Police must obtain a solicitor to represent you if you so request. You can have your own solicitor if he deals with criminal cases or a duty solicitor. The Solicitor must and will be independent of the Police. All requests for a Solicitor go through the duty call centre. If you wish you can pay for your own solicitor.
(d) You need Independent advice
The Police are not Solicitors. Their function is to uphold the law. They owe no duty to you to advise you how best to deal with the situation you may find yourself in, in a police station. A Solicitor is independent and must always act in their client’s best interests.
What Happens If I Am Invited In By Police For A Chat? (a) There is no such thing as being invited in by police for a chat!
If you are asked to attend a police station to be interviewed with regard to a matter you are a suspect. You can be asked to attend a police station voluntarily. As such, if you agree, the necessity conditions to arrest you may not apply and as such the police may decide not to arrest you.
You are still a Suspect!
You need Legal Advice. It is still free and we strongly advise you to ask the police to arrange it.
They must do so.