All suspects being questioned by police have a right to FREE legal advice

Criminal lawNobody wants to have a reason to be interviewed by the Police but unfortunately, people may find themselves in a position whereby allegations have been made against them or they are required to give their side of an incident to the Police.
In these situations, the majority of the public do not realise they have significant rights, which could be explored. Many people feel they do not require a solicitor because they think they have done nothing wrong or may decide the involvement of a solicitor might complicate matters and make it look like they have something to hide.
However, the following scenarios should be considered: The police station and interview room setting can be very intimidating for somebody who has had no previous dealings with the Police.
Each person will be read a large amount of material setting out their rights and entitlements and the different methods of how a case can be disposed of, which can often be confusing if you are not familiar with the legal language used in such situations.
Instead, it is often better to have someone with you who takes the time to sit down and explain in detail and answer any questions you may have regarding those rights.
The Police may read you a caution enabling them to use whatever you say in the interview room in court, should the case end up there.
The Police are trained to have an interview strategy and will have taken a degree of time and preparation to decide what questions to ask and the manner in which these should be asked; unlike the person being interviewed.
There can be complicating background issues, such as the educational or mental abilities of the person being interviewed.
Legal issues often arise at a very early stage in any case. In every case, the Police have to decide whether they have a right or necessity to formally arrest an individual or if they can request the person attends voluntarily for an interview.
Not every instance requires the interview to take place in a police station or in a tape recorded manner – some interviews can even take place in the person’s home.
No matter where the interview nor the manner in which it is carried out, the suspect should be informed by the Police that they have a right to consult with a solicitor, which can be in person or via a telephone call.
In times of austerity, the Police are introducing new methods such as Fixed Penalty Notices, Cautions or Informal Warnings to dispose of cases. Whilst this may mean a case does not end up in court, individuals need to be fully aware of the implications of accepting any of these, both in the short-term and in the future.
McConnell Kelly Solicitors employ solicitors who specialise in giving police station advice and criminal law.
We have a 24-hour “on-call” service to ensure no matter what time of the day or night, advice will be available.
Should you have any concerns or wish to seek professional legal advice for your own peace of mind, please contact one of our offices located in Bangor, Dundonald and Ballyhackamore for assistance.
Bangor: 028 9147 9900 Dundonald: 028 9048 9816 Ballyhackamore: 028 9065 5511 Email: