Being arrested is an alarming prospect, whether you are guilty of the offence you are accused of or not.
And that means it can be easy to panic and difficult to know what to do.
Here are three steps you can take to avoid incriminating yourself unwittingly or making the situation worse:
Ask to speak to a solicitor
You are entitled to legal representation and the police must inform you of this right and facilitate your access to it.
A solicitor will be able to advise you of your rights, the strength of the police’s case and the best approaches to take at interview.
Depending on the situation, you could be advised to give a ‘no comment’ interview, a written statement or to cooperate fully but with a solicitor on hand to step in if necessary.
While ‘no comment’ interviews can be a sensible approach, there are limited situations in which juries are allowed to draw adverse conclusions and so legal advice is crucial, even where you do not intend to comment.
Exercise your right to remain silent until you’ve spoken to a solicitor
Even if you have not committed an offence, it can be surprisingly easy to incriminate yourself. If you have been arrested, you should wait for legal advice before engaging with substantive questions from the police, even if they appear informal or straightforward.
And, even if you are guilty of the offence, you have been arrested on suspicion of and intend to admit to it, a solicitor will be able to advise you about how you can do so in a way does not incriminate you in relation to other offences. They can also highlight any mitigating factors that may reduce your sentence.
While the ideal is that the police are seeking the truth of the situation, they have strong incentives to reach the point where they can bring charges and close the case.
BUT cooperate with lawful instructions
There are some instructions you must comply with if you are arrested. For example, if you are arrested on suspicion of a drink driving offence, you will be required to take a confirmatory breath test or provide a blood sample. In this example, failing to provide a specimen when lawfully instructed to is an offence in and of itself.
Being arrested, especially if you are innocent and did not expect to be arrested, can be a frightening and disorientating experience.
We help clients through all stages of the criminal justice process. For advice and representation, get in touch with our expert team today.
Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.
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