We are often contacted by clients who have requested our assistance to attend and advise them in relation to what is known as a PACE 9 voluntary interview.
Usually when our clients contact us the first thing they will say is “the police have just asked me to come in for a chat”. It only often becomes clear upon further discussion with client that in fact the police wish to question them about their involvement in an alleged criminal offence.
In recent years, fewer and fewer people have been arrested by the police and more and more PACE 9 voluntary interviews have been taken place. These can take place in a police car, at the police station or at a suspect’s home address. These are always done under caution.
This means therefore that the actual interview procedure that takes place in relation to the interview on voluntary basis and whilst under arrest is almost the same. The only difference in reality is that a volunteer can leave the interview at any time, whereas if you are under arrest you are of course in police detention. Therefore it emphasises the importance of arranging and instructing a legal specialist for advice to attend and advise you at the interview.
We can attend and provide specialist advice at the police station, free of charge, as we have a legal aid contract which means that we can attend and advise people who are interviewed under caution. We often hear people say things along the lines of “I didn’t want a solicitor because I thought it may be not guilty”. This is a misnomer and to protect yourself, when you are entitled to free and independent legal advice, surely you should take up that advice.
The interview is the most important part of any criminal investigation as what is said, or not said, may determine the rest of the case.
Should you wish to discuss this blog or any upcoming/previous interview with the police then please contact a member of our criminal defence team as a matter of urgency.
For any help you need – call us.