Voluntary Attendance Police Interviews – Do I really need a Solicitor?
What is a voluntary attendance police interview?
A voluntary attendance is a police station interview when the volunteer attends to assist the police with an investigation and they are NOT under arrest.
Volunteers have the right to access independent legal advice and are free to leave the police station at any time unless and until they are arrested. A police officer must inform the volunteer that they are under arrest if a decision is made to prevent him or her from leaving the police station of their own free will.
How are they different from interviews following an arrest?
Most suspects are arrested and held in police custody for interview. However, sometimes the police want to speak to someone about a criminal allegation and decide that it is not necessary to arrest that person to interview them.
In some cases police stations do not have the capacity to take in arrested suspects or have a designated custody suite and voluntary attendance police interview takes place instead.
Attending the police station as a volunteer does NOT prevent the police from arresting them. However, it is unusual. If this happens the police officer must take the suspect before the Custody Officer who must notify them of his/her legal rights including entitlement to free and independent legal advice whilst in custody.
Any interview will be recorded and will take place under caution meaning that it may be used in evidence at a future date.
What are the advantages of voluntary attendance interviews?
- Levins Solicitors can arrange the interview with the police at your convenience and ensure our attendance with you.
- Facilities will be available for us to be briefed by the police about the matter and to advise you thoroughly before the police interview in private.
- You are likely to be less pressured and much more equipped to cope with questioning than if you were in custody.
What happens if you decide not to attend as a volunteer?
- You face a real risk of being arrested
- You are much more likely to be stressed and disadvantaged when interviewing finally happens.
Do I need a solicitor?
Just because the police decide to interview you under caution as a volunteer does not mean that it is any less serious than if you were arrested and interviewed.
Remember you are entitled to free and confidential legal advice. We can even arrange the interview with the police, usually at a time and date to suit you. Although you may feel confident that you know what the police want to talk to you about, without legal representation you are effectively going into a formal police interview without knowing the exact allegations.
Levins Solicitors will be happy to attend with you and support you through every police interview. If you wish to speak to us further, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0151 480 5777. or visit our web page for more information: Criminal Solicitors Levins
You can also directly message a member of the crime team, who will get back to you as quickly as possible, by filling out the enquiry form on the crime page.