No Comment Police InterviewExercising Your Right to Silence at The Police Station
The specialist Driving Offences / Motoring Law team of Solicitors and Barristers at Kang & Co Solicitors are at hand to represent for a Police interview at the station, if you are being investigated for a driving offence.
We regularly represent clients being investigated for motoring offences such as Death by Dangerous Driving, Death by Careless Driving, Dangerous Driving, Careless Driving, Drink Driving and Drug Driving.
If you have been called to attend a voluntary police station interview under caution, then you should instruct a specialist motoring solicitor to represent you during your police station interview. Our team of expert lawyers are here to help and can provide you with preliminary free advice, they can be contacted by sending a message via our Contact Page or by calling 0345 222 9955 and one of our lawyers will speak to you about your case within 48 hours.
If you are due to attend the police station, it’s crucial that you act fast and instruct an experienced motoring law solicitor to represent and safeguard your legal rights at the police station.
You should not use or attempt to use the information contained within this page to represent yourself at the police station, you should instruct a suitably qualified motoring solicitor or ask for the Legal Aid duty solicitor at the police station.
The Police Station Interview
A Police Officer has the right interview a person he thinks useful information can be obtained from, when investigating a potential criminal offence. A person’s decision not to answer police questions (no comment) or unwillingness to go into an interview does not change the right to interview.
At the commencement of the police station interview, the interview is recorded on a digital disk and the police officer will caution the suspect, the caution is then explained to the suspect.
If the police have enough evidence to charge a suspect without an interview, then in such circumstances an interview may not take place, as the police do not require any further evidence. An example of this is usually Drink Driving, as evidence from the intoxilyzer machine will usually be sufficient to authorise a Drink Driving charge, therefore the police may not deem it necessary to conduct a police interview.
The Options Available During the Police Interview
In a police interview, a suspect can progress in the following manner:
- Provide a ‘no comment’ interview (exercise their right to silence)
- Answer some police questions
- Answer all police questions
- Make a prepared statement
The course of action to take is individual and a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not appropriate. It is crucial that the correct decision is made at the police interview so that the correct foundation can be created for the case, should the case progress to trial. It is crucial that you instruct a solicitor to represent you at the police station as your lawyer will be best placed on the correct course of action to take.
Adverse Inferences From a ‘No Comment’ Interview
A suspect is entailed to remain silent during a police interview or answer ‘no comment’ however, the is an important condition attached to remaining silent, this is also known as an ‘adverse inference’
The Court could draw an adverse inference if a suspect is being questioned by the police and the suspect does not mention a fact which he relies upon in his defence (because the suspect exercised their right to silence) and it was in the circumstances existing at the time reasonable for the suspect to have mentioned the fact when questioned.
An example of this would be a person being interviewed for dangerous driving, that person provides a ‘no comment’ interview and at trial raises a defence of mistaken identity. The Court is less likely to believe the defence, as such a crucial point would have been within the knowledge of the suspect during the interview, and therefore the defence should have been place on record at the police interview.
Therefore, in certain circumstances providing a ‘no comment’ interview can be detrimental if the matter progresses to trial and a defence is raised at later stage.
Advantages of Answering ‘No Comment’
The clear advantage of not answering police questions during an interview is that a suspect would not add strength to the prosecution case, which in certain circumstances may leave the prosecution with insufficient evidence to charge a suspect with a criminal offence. However, taking this course of action may result in an adverse inference and may weaken a defence if the matter progresses to trial.
Innocent Explanation for Remaining Silent
An adverse inference for remaining silent will not arise at Court, if an innocent explanation for remaining silent can be given to the Court.
The innocent explanation must be supported by admissible evidence and this would usually be recorded onto the custody record at the time of the interview via submissions made by the solicitor at the police station.
Example of innocent explanations for remaining silent are assessed on a case by case basis however, the Court is unlikely to draw an adverse inference if the police failed to disclose adequate information about the case to the solicitor which may result in the solicitor being unable to give appropriate advice to the suspect
The work our lawyers carry out at the police station is the first stage of any criminal case, and for that reason it is crucial that the correct foundation is in place to protect and safeguard our clients.
Our team of expert lawyers are based at our office at 1 Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BD however, we represent clients at police station in the following areas:
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