The police may arrest you and interview clients whist detained at a police station. They may interview clients by appointment on a voluntary basis. Voluntary interviews can take place at a police station, a clients home, place of work, or other location (such as a prison if a client is already in custody).
There is no such thing as ‘a little chat’. The core business of the police is to arrest, charge and then have people punished. They are not your friends and they never act in your best interests. Police officers sometimes say that things will be quicker without a solicitor – this is rarely true, in fact once we know about a clients detention, we can actually act to speed things up. And remember, if a client something he/she ought not to have, he/she might have a lot of time during the years spent in prison regretting a little wait while we are called out to assist . Police station advice is always free and we have someone available 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Therefore, if you are arrested, or are asked to speak to the police at any time, you have the right to speak to a solicitor and it is in your interests to do so.
In a small number of cases where for example there is not going to be any police interview (e.g. drink driving, or arrested on a court warrant) the rules are different and you will be offered advice by ‘CDS Direct’ – a government funded advice centre. You are advised to accept that advice and also ask them to contact us immediately so that we know of your arrest and can assist further should the need arise.
Cases are sometimes dealt with speedily, at other times the investigation can last many months. It is important that you keep in touch with us. If the police contact you directly then let us know immediately – do not assume that they will contact us as well – they like it when we are kept out of the loop as our job is to protect you.
You have many rights and protections in the police station – it is our job to ensure that you take advantage of these.