Our criminal defence solicitors are highly experienced police station advisers with a first-class reputation for fearlessly upholding and advancing the interest of our clients.
We are highly skilled at examining allegations and evidence and advising our clients on how to deal with police interviews – whether that is through answering questions, putting forward a statement or exercising the right to silence.
Bindmans are a first rate criminal defence firm. They are able to bring together considerable experience in civil liberties and human rights, to offer expert assistance to clients with novel and unique criminal cases.Legal 500 2021
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a solicitor for a police interview?
It can be quite overwhelming to be arrested or receive a request from the police to attend an interview under caution.
If you are represented your solicitor will guide you through the process. They will ask the right questions of the police to ensure that as much information as possible is available to help you make critical decisions such as how to deal with your interview.
They will advise you on what to do and remain with you while you are interviewed so they will be there to protect your rights and interests.
Some people worry that asking for a solicitor may make the police think they are guilty. This is not the case. Access to legal advice in a police interview is a right and the police are very familiar with this right being exercised.
Will I be arrested?
The police can exercise a power of arrest if it is necessary to do so.
An arrest can have significant consequences. It can mean detention in police custody while the police make further enquiries, search relevant property and conduct an interview. It will almost invariably mean that biometrics data is obtained by the police, including photographs, fingerprints and DNA. The fact of an arrest will be recorded on the Police National Computer and it could be disclosed to potential employers on a criminal record check in future, even in circumstances where charges do not follow.
Our police station solicitors are skilled at persuading the police that an arrest is unnecessary and that an interview can be conducted with a client attending voluntarily.
What is a voluntary police interview under caution?
A voluntary interview under caution, also known as a ‘caution plus three interview’ is conducted by the police when they want to interview someone about an allegation but where they do not consider it necessary to arrest that person.
A person who attends a voluntary interview will be able to have a solicitor with them and it is often possible to arrange the interview for a convenient time.
How can a Solicitor help me prepare for a police interview?
Before the interview, the solicitor will request information from the police about the allegations and evidence. They will meet with you in private to discuss the allegation and evidence, talk about what has happened and advise you about the best way of dealing with the interview. They will also be able to advise you about the evidence and how it relates to the allegation that has been made against you.
Where a police interview is arranged by prior appointment, it may be possible to obtain disclosure in advance, so that you can meet with the solicitor and prepare for the interview away from the immediate pressure of the police station.
Will I be ‘Bailed to Return’ or Released Under Investigation (RUI) after the interview?
In the past, most suspects interviewed under arrest were granted bail to return to the police station on a specific date while the police conducted further enquiries before deciding whether to bring any charges.
In practice, the first date of return was rarely effective and people found themselves being ‘re-bailed’ to a later date, over and over for many months and in some cases, years.
Recent changes to the law have imposed strict limits on the length of time that suspects can be bailed and re-bailed without charge. Pre-charge bail now requires the authority of an Inspector who will only authorise bail if it is considered ‘necessary and proportionate’.
In all other cases where the police are not ready to make a decision about whether to bring charges, suspects will be ‘Released under Investigation’ (RUI) indefinitely while the police continue to investigate.
It can take many months for the police to conclude an investigation. This can take a considerable toll on the person being investigated, as they have no clear understanding of when and how the investigation might conclude. It is really important to be legally represented if you wish to be kept updated as to progress within an investigation. It is rarely sensible or appropriate for a suspect to have direct contact with the investigating officers – a dialogue between your solicitor and the police eliminates the risk of communications backfiring.
Will I be prosecuted?
A prosecution can only begin or be continued if there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, and it is in the public interest to prosecute.
If a case fails either or both of these tests there should not be a prosecution, or proceedings should be discontinued if they are already active.
Prosecutors are required to follow a Code for Crown Prosecutors, which sets out the general principles Crown Prosecutors should follow when they make decisions on cases.
Our experienced criminal solicitors frequently challenge decisions to prosecute where the evidential or public interest thresholds are not met. In doing so, they regularly secure discontinuance or alternative outcomes for their clients.
What are the alternatives to prosecution?
There are a large number of alternatives to prosecution. These include taking no further action, cautions, conditional cautions, Fixed Penalty Notices and Community Resolutions. Our solicitors can advise about these.
Criminal Defence and Extradition
Inquests: Advising and Representing Interested Persons and Witnesses
Journalists and Media Organisations
Appeals and Miscarriage of Justice
Police Station Representation and Advice
Celebrity and High Profile Legal Services
Criminal Court Representation
Road Traffic Offences
Sexual Offence Allegations
Official Secrets Act Breaches
Human Trafficking, Smuggling, and Slavery Offences
University Misconduct Complaints
What others say
Pre-eminent team that offers in-depth experience across all areas of criminal law. Particularly well versed in representing individuals charged with highly serious offences, including murder and terrorism. Offers niche expertise in acting for journalists and those charged with public order offences, drawing on additional strength in human rights issues. Also assists clients with appeals against earlier convictions.Chambers and Partners 2020
Pre-eminent team that offers in-depth experience across all areas of criminal law. Particularly well versed in representing individuals charged with highly serious offences, including murder and terrorism. Offers niche expertise in acting for journalists and those charged with public order offences, drawing on additional strength in human rights issues.Chambers and Partners 2019
One of the top-tier firms in the country undertaking criminal work. A well-oiled organisation – they know exactly what they are doing.Chambers and Partners 2019
Bindmans LLP is well-known for advising high-profile individuals on cases of extradition, murder, terrorism and fraud, and is especially strong in assisting with cases involving human rights aspects.Legal 500 2019
Bindmans are first class: they have meticulous preparation and the highest level of client care. Their support structure, in terms of staff to deal with the workload of large cases, is excellent. Bindmans thoroughly deserve their stellar reputation.Chambers and Partners 2018
‘Exceptional’ Bindmans LLP ‘always goes the extra mile in every case’Legal 500 2018