Police Station Arrests or Voluntary Interview - what is the impact on you and why do you need specialist advice?
Any investigation by the Police can cause real concern, particularly when you know you have not done anything wrong. The more serious the allegation the more effect this is likely to have on both you and your family. Some police investigations can, unfortunately, take months before a decision is reached.
Such cases should be dealt with robustly and quickly and those falsely accused should feel confident that the Police will spend as long collating evidence in support of the accused as they will in obtaining evidence to support a charge. However, in our experience this is rarely the case. This can result in the accused becoming more and more frustrated, with a prolonged period of uncertainty and a sense of unfairness in how they are being treated.
The emotional impact of such an investigation can be huge, as can be the practicalities of dealing with this on your day to day life. While being investigated, bail conditions can be imposed or a restraint order could be made which could in turn effect your income, your right to spend time with other family members, and cause difficulties for your employment or freedom of movement and travel.
"Mind the gap" - why pay privately and why instruct us?
When you are subject to a police investigation, you do have a choice about how you want to fund your defence. You can either choose public funding (which will be through the Police Station Advice and Assistance Scheme), or you can instruct a lawyer or a partner to deal with the case under a private retainer.
Go public funding?
In general there is a huge misconception as to what your representative can do in relation to a publicly funded case. Cover is restricted, as it extends only to legal advice given at the police station. In almost all cases, funding is provided as a "one size fits all" fixed fee. It does not matter how much work needs to be done, how high profile your case is, how long the representative remains with you or how many times you are required to attend the station. As a result, the idea that your publicly funded solicitor/representative will be actively working on your behalf behind the scenes is extremely unlikely as they will not be funded for this work.
In addition, your representative may not necessarily be a qualified solicitor. Even if they are a solicitor, they may not have the specialist knowledge and experience required for your particular case.
Go private funding?
It is important that you act quickly, and get an experienced lawyer with the right expertise to represent you as soon as possible. Your primary need is to avoid an arrest if you can. Any arrest on one’s record, even if you are not ultimately convicted, can cause problems with travel, with your employer, or for those studying for a variety of careers.
Right from the start, you should get specialist advice at the police station. If you go private, you are in control and will be able to select the right lawyer for you, when you need them. In doing so, they will be able to get the appropriate level of information at this early stage and quickly identify any weaknesses with police evidence. If you are unrepresented, or do not have the right lawyer, you are highly unlikely to get this valuable information at this crucial time. This could place you at a disadvantage, particularly at a time when you are likely to be very stressed, and dealing with events that could have occurred a long time ago.
Private funding means you are in control and your lawyer will be able to work on your case throughout the investigation and will not be restricted in what they can do under the fixed fee scheme. This will mean that your lawyer can be much more proactive in building your defence case throughout the duration of the investigation, and so giving you the best chance of achieving the right result at police station stage.
Why choose Monan Gozzett?
We have had unparalleled success at getting false allegation cases dropped at the police station. With over 30 years experience in attending the police station, handling the most complex and high profile criminal cases, our specialism in the field is a given. However, it is in our core values, based on empathy and understanding, which makes us stand out from the crowd.
This means we know what to do and when to do it to ensure the best outcome for you. Recognising what you face, the likely impact that this will have on you and what that means for future action in your case is so important.
But in addition to this, we recognise the stress and harrowing impact investigations can have on the individual when they simply do not know what is happening or is likely to happen next. So we always ensure that we keep you informed every step of the way.
Clients who have instructed our partners consistently say that they immediately feel better having spoken to us, and that they feel that they have regained some control.
In instructing us, you will be allocated an experienced partner to deal specifically with your case. If we are instructed early enough in relation to an anticipated investigation, we will be able to advise you prior to an arrest. For example, this may enable us to negotiate a voluntary interview as opposed to an arrest being placed on your record.
If we attend the police station for your interview, we will focus on the all-important disclosure aspect of your case, ensuring we get the right information at the right time. Any interview will be recorded and used at trial, so it is vital that you receive the right advice on how to deal with this. We have represented clients who say:
"I did not get advice because I haven’t done anything wrong, and I thought if I go into interview and explain everything, it would be okay."
Almost without exception this is regretted at a later stage.
If you have already been interviewed without our assistance, there is still great benefit in coming to us to ensure that your case is properly reviewed prior to any charge being made. This is important because it is likely that you will need quality written representations made on your behalf to the police. Instructing us at this stage will enable us to be proactive in preparing your defence case and advising on bail conditions.