No matter who you are, whether you are unemployed or a multimillionaire, you are entitled to free and independent legal advice in the police station from a Criminal Solicitor.
Do I have to be under arrest?
Sometime a suspect is arrested by the police because the police believe there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person’s arrest is necessary. It is increasingly common practice for a suspect to be interviewed voluntarily. The police will therefore arrange an interview at a mutually convenient time and will conduct a Pace 9 voluntary interview at the police station or your home address. You are still entitled to free and independent legal advice in this scenario.
The advantage of this is that if you require a solicitor for interview you can instruct a solicitor in advance of the interview and make arrangements for them to attend with you.
Who can I choose?
Legal aid is in place for those in the police station to be represented and advised in the police station by a solicitor. For free and independent advice you can instruct a solicitor that has a legal aid contract. For example an existing client may ask for a representative of Chris Stevenson Solicitors to attend and advise them because they have confidence in us and our representation of them in the police station.
For those who do not have a regular solicitor or if you do not specifically request a solicitor from a specific company the duty solicitor scheme is in place.
Again anyone who asks for a duty solicitor is entitled to free independent legal advice from that solicitor.
The duty solicitor works for the Police!
There is a misnomer about the duty solicitor which seems to have been perpetrated by inaccurate television shows. Occasionally people sometimes believe that the duty solicitor either works for the police or is not independent. This is completely untrue.
A duty solicitor is a criminal solicitor who has achieved a qualification and is accredited appropriately to advise in the police station and the Magistrates Court as a duty solicitor. They do not work for the police. All duty solicitors will work for a firm of solicitors that are completely independent.
The most important part of any case!
In our view the most important point in any case is the advice that is provided to a suspect when they are interviewed by the police. The effect of the advice can be profound in that it could result in no further action being taken, putting your defence forward at the earliest opportunity, or if you are badly advised it could result in a charge and your conviction.
Since 1994 Chris Stevenson Criminal Solicitors have advised and represented clients in the police station to ensure that we achieve the best outcome for them.
Therefore should you require legal advice and wish to discuss your case please do not hesitate to contact us on 01302 341243