An interview with the police is a very daunting prospect; whether as part of voluntary process, or following arrest, an interview under caution is an integral part of an investigation so it is important it is approached correctly.
If you are due to attend the police station, or one of the many police investigation centres following an invitation, it is crucial that you act fast and instruct a legal representative to advise and guide you through the process, thus safeguarding your legal rights.
In a police interview, a suspect has a number of options as to how to respond:
- provide a ‘no comment’ interview (exercise their right to silence)
- answer some questions
- answer all the questions; or
- make a pre-prepared statement (in combination with answering questions or not).
When discussing a no comment interview, clients sometimes have faces full of dread and worry and ask questions such as:
- “will the police think I have something to hide if I say no comment?”
- “would it be seen as I’m being evasive by not answering their questions?”
- “does it make me look guilty if I give a no comment interview?”
The answer is NO, it is a ‘right to silence’! Whilst the right to silence remains, any suspect must be aware that it is open to the court to draw an adverse inference from your silence if you do not answer police questions.
There is no special trick or technique to the phrase no comment. It simply allows an individual to indicate that they have no intention of answering police questions whilst giving the police an opportunity to put questions forward and to progress their investigation.
The course of action to take is fact specific and is not a ‘one size fits all.’ It is crucial that the correct decision is made at the police interview so that the foundation for the defence can be created for the case, should it progress to trial.
If you require legal counsel to accompany you to your police interview, please contact Thomas Dunn to discuss the options available, or to check the availability of other members of the Regulatory and Corporate Defence Team.