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Does anyone know anything about voluntary police interviews. DH has been asked to attend.

(67 Posts)
Cetra638 Thu 23-Jul-20 20:49:13

Without going into too much detail he’s been reported for a road traffic offence, they have CCTV footage. He was phoned today to ask if he would come into the station, at his own convenience for a chat. They told him it wasn’t a serious offence, he won’t get points on his license but then contradicted themselves by saying worse case scenario would be court. They said he could have a solicitor present but advised it wasn’t necessary at this point. They just wanted to chat to him about driving safety. He’s made the appointment for tomorrow.

Does he need a solicitor present? How do you even go about finding one? Should we postpone it until we’ve taken legal advice? They made it sound very casual but we’ve no experience of the legal system at all. Any advice gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
Turnedouttoes Thu 23-Jul-20 20:51:40

What was the offence? Did he run a red light or crash into someone’s car and drive away?

captainprincess Thu 23-Jul-20 20:52:23

Sorry no advice, but I would be worried if they said he could have a solicitor present but it wasn't necessary...

Cetra638 Thu 23-Jul-20 20:53:37

I don’t want to say as it’s very outing. My gut is telling me we need legal advice.

OP’s posts: |
Apolloanddaphne Thu 23-Jul-20 20:55:27

I think I would want a lawyer present. If they say it is voluntary then they will have to wait until you get a lawyer on board.

Batshittery Thu 23-Jul-20 20:56:18

When he arrives at the police station he will be told that he is entitled to free legal advice. If he doesn't have a solicitor, a 'duty' solicitor would be contacted for him.

Reallybadidea Thu 23-Jul-20 20:56:51

Personally, I would never be interviewed by the police about anything without a solicitor present.

FernGilly Thu 23-Jul-20 20:57:11

Do not let him go without taking a solicitor with him!

TickFollowedTock Thu 23-Jul-20 20:58:02

If you get a duty solicitor they will be able to find out what evidence the police have. If you don't have a solicitor you won't know what the Police have on you as they don't make disclosures to an individual.

DonLewis Thu 23-Jul-20 20:58:14

100% should have a solicitor present. I used to conduct interviews under caution (not the police) and was always astonished at the people who would turn up without one.
If he's committed an offence, he needs legal representation.

Cetra638 Thu 23-Jul-20 20:58:34

Batshittery if he phoned them before he leaves for the interview and tells them he’d like legal advice would they ensure the duty solicitor is present when he arrives?

It’s akin to running a red light, no accident occurred.

OP’s posts: |
GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 23-Jul-20 20:58:51

Sounds like it could be leaving the scene of an accident or a hit and run. I can’t think of anything where it wouldn’t be a clear cut points or fine otherwise.

GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Thu 23-Jul-20 21:00:16

Ok so if it isn’t, why can’t you say what it is? Very difficult to give advice with such few details.

Jujuball Thu 23-Jul-20 21:00:56

He can either phone a solicitor himself direct and ask them to meet him there, or when he gets to the police station he can ask for the duty solicitor. Either way it's free under the legal aid scheme regardless of your earnings.

Absolutely do not let him go without legal representation! I am a solicitor and used to give advice at the police station back in the day.

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Jul-20 21:02:40

Could it be that they have a picture of his car involved in the crime, but not the driver? I wonder if they are hoping he will admit he was driving.

Batshittery Thu 23-Jul-20 21:02:43

No it doesn't work like that, but he could contact a solicitor himself and arrange to them at the station before hand.

CrimeCantCrackItself Thu 23-Jul-20 21:04:01

From my experience, DH was asked to attend a voluntary interview. When he got there he was arrested and cautioned. (Not traffic offences)

Does he need a solicitor present?
I'd take one. Don't trust the police. And I am the most middle class law abiding person you could come across. But they do not have your best interests at heart.

How do you even go about finding one?
Google criminal lawyers in your area.

Should we postpone it until we’ve taken legal advice?
Yes.

They made it sound very casual but we’ve no experience of the legal system at all. Any advice gratefully received
Get a solicitor. Don't be fooled by the casual intentions.

We ended up with a court case and it was hell. DH was arrested, bailed and released. I had a six week old newborn at the time of the court case. All charges dropped and the judge for wasting DHs time.

pandafunfactory Thu 23-Jul-20 21:05:34

Always, always a solicitor

Hoppinggreen Thu 23-Jul-20 21:06:54

Take a solicitor and do not admit to anything
Unfortunately law abiding honest people are an easier target than the scumbags who know how to play the system
Obviously don’t lie or be dishonest but don’t volunteer any information eitherv

Cetra638 Thu 23-Jul-20 21:07:11

Ok thanks everyone. Loud and clear, we need a solicitor. He’ll phone the station first thing in the morning, ask if the duty solicitor can see him before the interview and if not we’ll postpone it and find our own.

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Onekidnoclue Thu 23-Jul-20 21:08:18

I would never consent to an interview with police without a solicitor. Your DH would be utterly bonkers to do so.
There have been enormous cuts to legal aid and I very much doubt you would qualify (you basically have to be homeless and surviving on crumbs to qualify). The fact he has a car I suspect means your too wealthy to get legal aid. This means you need to pay for your own legal representation. Find a solicitor ASAP. If you can’t get a personal recommendation get a list of local firms together this evening and start calling round tomorrow first thing asking 1. Do they do this work 2. How experienced are they 3. What do they charge 4. What is their availability.
If you find one you’re happy with who can’t make the appointment as scheduled I would advise your DH to reschedule. I appreciate solicitors are expensive but the legal system in this country is complex and the potential impact of acting incorrectly are enormous and potentially extremely costly.
Make sure this is a single unfortunate day with a legal bill rather than the first in a series of bad days with unknown costs and impact later.

binkyblinky Thu 23-Jul-20 21:09:30

If it's a voluntary interview, he will be cautioned but not placed under arrest. He will basically be told that anything he says could be used in evidence.
He will be told he is entitled to free legal advice and also that he will be free to leave at any time.
It's called a caution +2 interview.

Make sure he asks for a solicitor. And that he tells the truth!

If it goes to court, they will decide what / if his punishment will be.

Ell19 Thu 23-Jul-20 21:10:46

If he doesn’t attend a voluntary interview, he can be arrested for a formal interview.

Get a solicitor, you could be waiting hours at the station for a duty solicitor.

binkyblinky Thu 23-Jul-20 21:10:50

Also - ex police officer here - all this don't trust the police, they are out to get you - is sooooo untrue.

FAQs Thu 23-Jul-20 21:14:26

Just about to say the same as @onekid. Don’t presume it’s free. It changed quite a few years ago and unless whatever it is carries a potential custodial it’s very unlikely it’ll be free legal advice. I’m presuming he knows or has an idea what it is about.

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