Tag Archives: police interview

Is restorative justice appropriate in your case?

Restorative Justice, or ‘RJ’ as it is sometimes known, is a way of holding offenders to account and can be used as an alternative to a caution or conviction, or alongside a sentence.

What happens with Restorative Justice?

restorative justiceRestorative Justice gives a victim the opportunity to meet or communicate with an offender to help the offender understand the impact of the crime.  It can also provide the offender with the chance to make amends.

This may be done in a face to face meeting or by way of a written apology.  Alternatively the offender could make amends to the community rather than to the victim directly.

Communication takes place in a controlled environment, if the meeting is face to face.  A facilitator will also be present. The meeting would centre on the harm caused and ways to repair that harm.

When can Restorative Justice be used?

For any kind of communication to take place the victim must be happy to participate.  The offender will also have to have admitted the offence and be willing to take part.

Gareth Thomas, the former Wales rugby captain, chose to deal with his complaint in this way after he was the victim of a homophobic assault.

The young person involved admitted the offence, and it is being dealt with by way of Restorative Justice rather than via a caution or through Court.

Mr Thomas said he thought that the offender could learn more through Restorative Justice than any other way.

Restorative Justice can also be used when an offender has received a prison sentence.  In another case, Cathryn Walmsley of Bolton was assaulted, the offender pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and a four-year term of detention was imposed.

Mrs Walmsley read a victim impact statement out in court to set out how the offence had affected her. She also said that she would like to sit down with the offender to discuss what he did because she believes that this may give her “closure”.

It may also assist the offender, and it is hoped in these circumstances that it would reduce the likelihood of any future offending.

restorative justice

Does it work?

Research undertaken by the government in a seven-year period found that there was an 85% victim satisfaction rate with the process following the use of restorative justice.  There was a also a reduction in the frequency of re-offending of 14%.

How can we help?

Many decisions relating to whether Restorative Justice is an appropriate alternative to a police caution or prosecution will be made at the point of police interview under caution or shortly afterwards.

We offer free and independent legal advice at the police station or anywhere else where you may be interviewed by the police.

A number of benefits to seeking advice can be found here, but an important benefit is that we will be able to advise you as to whether restorative justice could be available in your case and make representations or negotiate with the police on your behalf.

An example of a case where we have successfully negotiated a restorative justice disposal can be found here.

 You can find your nearest office here.

restorative justice
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:




A prepared statement as an alternative to answering questions

prepared statementA police interview under caution will be an opportunity for a suspect to provide the police with their defence to criminal charges.  There may be circumstances in which a suspect with a defence nevertheless exercises their right to silence.  You can read more about that option here.

Using a prepared statement instead of answering questions

An alternative to a suspect answering police questions will be to use a prepared statement.  If a suspect later faces trial for an allegation, prepared statementMagistrates or a Crown Court jury might be asked to draw conclusions about the truthfulness of any account given.  This could happen where an accused relies on a fact in their defence at court that it was reasonable for them to mention in interview.

The benefit of seeking our free and independent legal advice in police interview is that we will advise you of the approach to take that is in your best interests having considered all of the circumstances.

Our advice is subject to legal privilege and therefore private

Any advice that we give to you and your instructions that allow us to give that advice are confidential and subject to legal privilege.  We can only disclose your instructions and our legal advice with your permission.

A written statement reduces the risk of adverse inferences

Following advice, a decision might be made that it is more appropriate for you to set out your defence in a written statement that can be read out by your legal adviser at the start of the interview.  Thereafter you would be advised not to answer any of the questions put to you.

prepared statementAny fact mentioned in a prepared statement will be something mentioned in when questioned by the police.  As a result it may go some way to preventing any adverse inferences being drawn by the court at trial following a ‘no comment’ interview.  The effectiveness of the prepared statement is likely to depend upon how forthcoming you are in providing full instructions.

A prepared statement allows a suspect to control easily the amount of information that they disclose to the police.  It means that the police have less information to question a suspect on than if they answered questions.  Once questions are answered, it is far easier for an interviewing officer to probe for any problems or inconsistencies or to elicit further information.

When might we advise that you use a prepared statement?

Our solicitors and accredited representatives recognise that each case is different and our advice will depend upon the evidence the police hold and your instructions.

prepared statementSuch a statement might be appropriate where it is clear to your legal adviser that the police are not providing full disclosure of the evidence that they hold and may surprise a suspect during interview with new information.

Where in normal circumstances we might advise a client to answer questions in full, it may be that there are particular reasons for you to submit a prepared statement instead.  These might include:

  • Where a suspect is vulnerable and might not do themselves justice in interview were they to answer questions
  • A suspect may be unable to withstand the pressure created by the interview process
  • Circumstances in which a suspect is reluctant to speak candidly with their adviser
  • An interview may provide additional information to the investigating officer that will not assist the suspect
  • It may be appropriate to deny certain facts and avoid admitting others, particularly where this may disclose further offending

When should I hand in my prepared statement?

 You will receive advice as to when it is appropriate to make your prepared statement.  It might be after initial interviews in order that we know the case against you.  It might be at the end of all of the interviews.  There is a final opportunity to do so on charge.

In some cases the contents of the statement will not be disclosed to the police in any interview, but will dated, timed and signed by you and only produced if there is sufficient evidence to take your case to court.

Who drafts the statement?

Your solicitor or accredited police station representative will draft the statement for you in accordance with your instructions.  It will be designed to mention all of the necessary information to reduce the risk of an adverse inference. This is important as it is likely to be used at trial in one form or another if you are charged.

Always seek our free and independent advice in police interview

prepared statementAll the advice that we give you will be with your best interests as our sole consideration.  The only reason that we are there is to try and ensure the best possible outcome for you.

We have the experience to consider not only the immediate situation of your police detention but also what may happen should your case come to court.

We aim to make what might be difficult decisions easier for you and relieve some of the pressure that you will feel as a result of being interviewed.

As a result you can see that it is vital that you ask for our free and independent advice in police interview.  A number of other benefits to having legal advice can be found here.

We provide nationwide advice and assistance in the police station from our offices across the East Midlands.  You can find your nearest office here.  Our expert representation is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

prepared statement
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:


The no comment interview – your right to silence

no commentThere is no magic to the phrase no comment.  It is simply a device for a suspect to indicate that they have no intention of answering police questions.  It allows the police to put questions and the interview to progress easily.  An alternative would be to stay mute for the duration of the interview, but that would only prolong matters!

Advice on your decision to answer no comment

The decision whether to answer police questions or make no comment replies in police interview can be a difficult one.  There are many different considerations to balance.  Since the changes brought in by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 many more suspects are advised to answer police questions than previously.

no commentThis Act allows Magistrates’ or a jury to draw conclusions from a no comment interview in certain circumstances.  There are four conditions, including whether an accused failed to mention a fact later relied on in their defence and whether it was reasonable at the time for the accused to have mentioned this fact in interview or on charge.

Our advice is subject to legal privilege and cannot be disclosed

There is still, however, a place for the no comment interview but you are best advised to seek free and independent legal advice from a specialist solicitor or accredited police station representative before making the decision not to answer questions in police interview.  As we are entirely independent of the police any advice suggesting that you reply no comment to police questions will be in your best interests.

no commentAny advice that we give to you and your instructions that allow us to give that advice are confidential and subject to legal privilege.  We can only disclose your instructions and our legal advice with your permission.

Your police station representative will always make a note of the instructions that you give, so even if you make ‘no comment’ replies they can give evidence to the court if necessary to show that you haven’t made up a defence once you are charged and papers are served.

Our advice will always be tailored to the circumstances of your case

 Our police station advisers know that each case will turn on its own facts.  Our advice will balance any risks and benefits to you of a no comment interview.  You will be fully advised of the advantages and disadvantages of such a course of action to allow you to make a final decision.

Opportunity for a confidential consultation about the evidence

no commentBefore providing advice allowing you to make that decision your legal representative will always seek a confidential discussion with you about the evidence. That will allow them to take your instructions in private and give you advice.  It could be that the police choose not to provide the private facilities necessary.  That in itself could mean that a full discussion of the allegations is not possible and a no comment interview would be advised.

Your police station solicitor will be alive to factors that might affect whether you should answer questions – these could include youth, mental vulnerability, a hearing or speaking disability, poor command of language, a severe nervous state or other condition.

What if I am guilty of the allegation?

 It may be that although you are guilty of the offence the police may not have enough evidence to put before a court to convict you without your admission. There might be concerns about the level of disclosure of evidence from the police which could suggest that the evidence to convict you simply isn’t there. As a suspect is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ you are perfectly within your rights to choose not to answer questions.

no commentAlternatively, it might be that the police do not know the full extent of your offending and answering questions would make matters far worse for you.  Again, this would be a valid reason for replying no comment to police questions in interview.

As the caution only talks about inferences rather than any benefit of an early admission, the Court of Appeal has stated that you cannot lose discount for early guilty plea on the basis of a no comment interview.

Our free and independent legal advice will balance these considerations against other concerns that you might have.

If you admit the offences in police interview then you will have the benefit of demonstrating remorse for your offending.  True remorse can significantly reduce any sentence that you receive.  The greatest demonstration of remorse might be the strongest evidence it is genuine.

Alternatively, an early admission might mean that a prosecution can be avoided and you can be diverted from the court system.  To receive a caution or a restorative justice disposal an admission will normally be required from you.

What if I have a defence to the charge?  Shouldn’t I tell the police?

There may be a number of reasons why you would choose not to answer questions if you are innocent of the charge.  For example

  • You may know who the true culprit is but not want to name them
  • Your defence might involve admissions to some other damaging or embarrassing conduct but that is not illegal
  • We are unable to fully advise you as the police have not given us enough information about your case
  • The case is too complex or old to provide an immediate response

Other factors that might be relevant could include:

  • Your state of mind at the time of interview. Perhaps you were suggestible or in a state of shock?
  • You might be easily confused and liable to make mistakes in your account
  • There is a need to refer to information that isn’t to hand in police interview to check an alibi
  • We identify that there is some other good reason why you might not come over well in police interview

Our specialist police station advice will include whether there is a good reason for making no comment in interview, including whether a prepared statement should be used instead to control the manner in which the police are told about your defence.

We will advise you as to whether there are likely to be issues of admissibility at court relating to such matters as comment that you have made to the police upon arrest or any informal identification that might mean you should exercise your right to silence.

Always seek our free and independent legal advice in police interview

As you can see there are many factors that affect a decision whether to answer questions in police interview or answer no comment to any questions put.  It is vital that you seek our advice which is free of charge before you commit to a decision that could provide the evidence to secure a conviction or lead to problems in any future court case.

A number of other benefits to seeking legal advice can be found here.

We provide nationwide advice and assistance in the police station from our offices across the East Midlands.  You can find your nearest office here.  Our expert representation is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

no comment
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:


A Voluntary Interview with the police under caution – have free legal advice

Why are there more voluntary interviews by the police?

voluntary interview
A suspect not having the benefit of a voluntary interview

Over a number of years changes were made to the way police conducted interviews with suspects.  Proper safeguards were brought in to ensure that investigations were conducted fairly, particularly in regard to the recording of the questioning of suspects including their access to free and independent solicitors.  This was a direct reaction to ‘confession’ evidence being obtained in far from satisfactory circumstances leading to miscarriages of justice.

Legal safeguards too expensive?

Unfortunately, all of those safeguards cost money.  As a result, although there remains the right to speak to a solicitor and receive advice during interview, in many cases the police now create an atmosphere where if a suspect insists on their right to legal representation they are made to feel that the case will be treated more seriously, or that they will have to be arrested and taken into police custody, or that access to a solicitor will cause significant and inconvenient delays.

As a result, although the police will always offer a solicitor prior to a voluntary interview, the general tone is of the suspect not doing themselves any favours by requesting one.

If I’ve not been arrested are the police treating the allegation seriously?

There might be the expectation that the police ought to arrest those suspected of a criminal offence and take them to the police station to be interviewed.  This will have the natural effect of concentrating a suspect’s mind on the gravity of his situation and will lead to serious consideration as to having a lawyer represent them in interview.

voluntary police interview
No matter how friendly the police they are speaking to you as a suspect

Unfortunately the ‘softly softly’ approach recently adopted by the police might avoid a person having the same set of worries.  A request by a police officer for a ‘quick chat’, either at your home address, a room at the police station, or another place such as the rear of a police car, is because the officer is investigating you for an offence.

The police have reason to believe that you have committed an offence.  They are investigating this allegation.

Why is a voluntary interview important?

What you say in a voluntary interview has the same weight as if you had been arrested an interviewed at a police station.  It remains an interview under caution.

As a result, what a person does or doesn’t say might have the following effects:

  • lead to a conviction where there is no evidence other than an admission
  • result in a charge to court rather than an out of court disposal such as restorative justice
  • the police may issue an unwarranted caution where a person has not given clear denials
  • give an accused problems at trial before either the Magistrates’ or Crown Courts

The gravity of the situation is best shown by the fact that the police police interview under cautionroutinely deal with such serious matters as robbery, drug supply and serious sexual offences by way of voluntary interviews.

Whether you are interviewed while under arrest at a police station or as a volunteer in your front room this will not influence the decision as to whether you will end up in court. This will be influenced by the seriousness of the allegation and the strength of the evidence.  This will include what you have said to the police in any voluntary interview.

Should I have a solicitor in police interview?

Perhaps a better question is why shouldn’t you have a solicitor in police interview?  We have previously written on this subject here, but in summary you ought to seek legal advice for any of the following reasons:

  • a legal aid solicitor will always be free
  • it is your legal right to have a lawyer – use it!
  • our lawyers are experts in the field of criminal law
  • we are totally independent of the police
  • only the police delay your release, not your solicitor
  • a lawyer will give you time to think
  • we can negotiate an outcome with the police
  • the police are more likely to disclose the evidence they hold
  • having a solicitor does not make you look guilty

Instruct a criminal defence specialist now for your police interview

There is an element of truth in the police suggestion that having a solicitor will delay any voluntary interview.  That is only true, however, if we are only called when the police are at your door or you have attended at the police station.

You are likely to know that you are to be interviewed under caution in advance.  As soon as you find out, contact your nearest office to make the arrangement for one of our solicitors or accredited police station representatives to attend.  We’ll need to know you details, where you are to be interviewed and when, and then we will make sure that we are there at the same time as the police.

Alternatively you can use the contact form below and we will then make contact with you.





Interview under caution – can I use a prepared statement?

For many people the thought of being interviewed by a police officer will never cross their mind. Their law abiding lives mean that they will only rarely have any interaction with the Police.  On occasions, however,  allegations can be made which mean the police will have no alternative but to hold an interview under caution.

The importance of an interview under caution

police interview under caution chesterfield solicitorSuch an interview under caution may happen after arrest.  More often in recent times there may be what is called a voluntary interview.  The importance of either type of interview should not be underestimated.  The answers given in an interview under caution will carry the same weight in any court proceedings.  Any responses will also help decide whether a prosecution should be brought in the first place.  As a result, what is said in interview can have life changing effects as a case progresses.

Our expert criminal defence lawyers across all of our offices give daily advice to suspects interviewed by the police.  People choose not to have a solicitor in police interview for any number of reasons.  They may think that they have nothing to hide, or that there is no evidence that they are responsible for any wrong doing.

Free and independent legal advice

Whatever your personal views on the case we would recommend that you always contact one of our solicitors or accredited police police interview under cautionstation representatives as soon as you know the police want to speak to you.  This might be in advance or as you are booked in at the police station.

This advice will always be free of charge to you as we have a contract permitting us to give advice and representation under the legal aid scheme.  The service remains free whether when our office is open or out of hours.

Our advice is always independent of the police and we may help you identify all of the relevant legal issues that will inform your decision whether or not to answer the police questions.

A police interview years after the event

Chesterfield Police Station Representative Rob Lowe

Recently Chesterfield police station representative Rob Lowe was asked to represent a female suspect.  She had been interviewed in 2013 about allegations of child neglect when she was a foster carer. The case was closed with no action but the complainant wished to resurrect the complaint.  The police chose to put additional evidence to our client four years after the original police interview.

As Rob had attended with his client for interview he was able to receive full details from the police bout the new evidence that they had.  Without the benefit of a legal adviser in interview the police are unlikely to give you a similar level of information before the interview.

police interview under cautionIt became clear that although the police wished to ask some questions about some new, but minor, issues that had arisen they also wanted to ask some of the same questions that they had asked four years earlier.

As his client had chosen to have legal advice, she had the opportunity of speaking with Rob in private before the interview took place.  He had the opportunity of providing her with detailed advice about her options.

Bearing in mind she had already answered the majority of the questions, Rob was reluctant for the police to have a further opportunity to seek answers that may be inconsistent bearing in mind the passage of time.  Any differences in her account could weigh against her in any charging decision even though they would be perfectly understandable.

Submitting a prepared statement

Rob was, however, keen for his client to address the fresh issues that had arisen.  As a result, he drafted a statement that set out his client’s position in relation to these matters.  This statement was read out at the start of the interview.  After that, his client exercised her legal right to silence and refused to answer further questions put.

You will appreciate that a person without the benefit of legal representation may be unlikely to adopt such a course of action.  They are less likely to be confident in refusing to answer the questions the police put in interview.

Our client was refused charge

Following interview the case was subject to a further review and our client was told that no further action was to be taken.  She had been refused charge.  No doubt this was in part due to the comprehensive denials that she had put forward four years ago, but also in part to the position that she adopted in relation to the later interview.

Contact a legal aid specialist in police station representation.

Rob can be contacted at our Chesterfield office on 01246 283000.  This number will be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

You can read some more thoughts on why you ought to have legal advice in police interview here.

Alternatively, if might be that one of our other offices is more convenient.  You can find the details here.

interview under caution
VHS Fletchers crime and regulatory solicitors offices

You should always ask for VHS Fletchers in police interview because…

People appear reluctant to seek advice for a police interview.  Why?

You should always ask for VHS Fletchers in police interview because…

We are free.

free legal aid for police interviewNo matter what time of the day or night, or how long a solicitor has to spend providing you with expert advice and assistance, our services will be free to you as we hold a legal aid contract with the government.

The government recognises that the last thing a person will want to think about when detained by the police under investigation will be whether they can afford to be represented.

You don’t need to worry about that. Ever.

What other reason could you need?

We don’t mind being woken up.

Well, not really.

It is part of a criminal legal aid solicitors job to answer the phone in the middle of the night to give advice, and attend the police station where necessary.

VHS Fletchers is large enough to ensure that solicitors have a break from being on call. We also have the staff to make sure that a member of the firm deals with your case rather than pass your case to an agent.

It is one of your rights so you should use it.

You have the right to legal advice so it must be important. Make sure you exercise that right.

We are experts in the field of criminal law.

police interview solicitors nottingham newark chesterfield derby mansfieldIt is perhaps unlikely that you will have a knowledge of police practices, court procedure, rules of evidence and criminal charges. Our solicitors do. A person wouldn’t be shy about consulting a dentist, plumber or accountant depending on need. Why be shy about instructing a free solicitor in the middle of the night?

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong we can help you.

Choosing to have a solicitor doesn’t make you look guilty to the police. Choosing not to have a solicitor might make you a push over in terms of how the police deal with your case.

Why would you choose to go into the alien environment of a police custody suite or interview without the benefit of a trained expert in the field of criminal law?

If you haven’t done anything wrong, you might still struggle to explain yourself in the pressure of a police interview. Our presence and advice will help with that pressure.

We are entirely independent of the police.

Although we have a legal aid contract with the government, we are entirely independent of the police and the courts. You are our client, and the free advice and assistance that we give will be to help you.

…Because it is never a ‘quick chat’, despite what the police say

The only reason you are being interviewed is because the police suspect your involvement in a criminal offence. Any ‘quick chat’ is to investigate that. The outcome of the chat might be a police caution, or a charge for a serious offence, with serious consequences for your future.

We won’t delay your release.

The time that you are detained in the police station is entirely down to the police. During normal office hours, we have a number of solicitors and accredited representatives who are available to attend the police station at short notice to provide you with free advice and assistance.

free advice for police interviewsOut of hours VHS Fletchers operate an on-call rota system where we have four staff members on call at any one time, and the ability to call on more representatives to assist if need be.

If you are arrested further afield then we will ensure that you are represented by a solicitor who can help you immediately without causing delay.

We know that you will want to be released from the police station as soon as possible, and wouldn’t wish to delay that process. The police, on the other hand, often pass an investigation from officer to officer due to changing shifts or due to how they wish to organise themselves. It is likely to be this, and any investigation they are carrying out, that will cause delay.

If you are charged then what happened at the police station is likely to be very important to your case.

If your case comes before the court then your police interview is likely to be important, particularly if you are having a trial. It is likely to help you if you have given thoughtful and considered responses to police questioning having had an opportunity to discuss the evidence first.

police interview criminal defence lawyerIt might be that you have chosen not to answer police questions. This could be because the police have insufficient evidence when you are interviewed. If the evidence is then forthcoming, your solicitor could attend court to tell a jury about the account you gave in private consultation where this is the same as the defence you give in court.

We will give you time to think.

In nearly all cases the police will tell us some information about your case in advance. This may include the names of any witnesses and what they say happened. It can include forensic or telephone evidence. We may have the opportunity of viewing CCTV evidence.

police interview nottingham vhs fletchersYour legal representative will then have an opportunity to speak with you about the information disclosed and take your instructions. You will receive advice about what the evidence shows and whether you ought to give your account to the police.

It is only when you and your solicitor are happy that you are in a position to be interviewed will the interview take place. Should you need to discuss any aspect of your case during interview then you will be able to request that the interview be stopped for a further consultation.

Your solicitor might notice a point of evidence in police interview that you need to provide instructions on. In that case, they can request that the interview be stopped.

Without a solicitor, the police will not provide you with the evidence in advance and you will have to make your decision whether, and how, to answer questions during the interview. In those circumstances, it might be difficult to give your best account.

We can negotiate with the police on your behalf.

A solicitor will be important in negotiations for many reasons following police interview.  You might feel you need medical attention.  Perhaps the police need pointing in the right direction in terms of the investigation.  There might be a compelling need for your release.

It might be argued that there is insufficient evidence to charge you with an offence.  Alternatively, where the police are thinking of charging a serious offence we will have the opportunity to suggest less serious offences.

The police may want to keep you for court to seek a remand into prison custody.  We can suggest bail conditions on your behalf at the police station.

Alternatives to charge might be appropriate such as a police caution or a restorative justice measure. Again, we will argue for this on your behalf.

We are free, we are experts and we are on your side.

Make sure you call us, day or night.

Find you nearest office here.

Alternatively use the contact form below:


Serena Simpson’s Day – Police Station Representation in a Murder Investigation

Many people have a pre-conceived idea as to what solicitors do. They sit behind desks, see clients and then write letters trying to get what their client wants. It is assumed this simply repeats itself every day.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, however, for criminal solicitors. Each day they attend the office with an idea of what the day should hold – perhaps appointments  with clients, a number of court appearances or police station representation.  Maybe some time has been set aside for preparation of a particular case.

Criminal solicitors deal with the unexpected

The reality is though that criminal solicitors have absolutely no idea what each day will bring.  A new client contact the office may result in the need for any number of actions.

A person may need assistance with a road traffic case or a low value shoplifting.   They may face an allegation of a serious sexual offence or assault involving life threatening injuries. No matter what the allegation criminal solicitors have to be prepared and adapt to how one new client may all of a sudden change their entire day.

police station representation murder
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Serena Simpson

Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Serena Simpson recently had to deal with the unexpected. She had a quiet day with no clients before the Court so was planning to use the day reducing items on her ‘to-do’ list.

In the event she received a phone call from the police.  A client had been arrested for murder and she was required to attend the police station to provide advice and representation in interview.

Police are investigating a murder

From experience our staff know that an allegation of murder is likely to take many hours and in many cases days to resolve at the police station. Interviews can proceed through the night or into weekends.  In such a pressurised situation we know that clients will benefit from seeing the same criminal defence lawyer throughout these interviews.  As a result we will always take steps to ensure that a lawyer of appropriate experience can be present to advise for the entirety of the investigation state.

In this case Serena considered her diary for this and the next day and was able to re-allocate work.  This left her free to commit to providing continuity of representation at the police station.  This would mean that Serena would be working late but had no way to predict when she would finish.  There was also the obvious impact on her family life as she wouldn’t be home until late.  Any plans she had were cancelled.

Serena provided police station representation to her client into the late evening before returning home.  She continued to be in communication with the police until later that night. The following morning she received an early call early requesting her immediate return to the police station for further interviews.

After many hours at the police station Serena’s client was released without charge.  There was no cost to him as police station representation is free to anyone being interviewed in the police station.

Finally, Serena was able to return to the tasks she had planned two days earlier, whilst waiting to see which client with what offence would next need her assistance.

Contact us for dedicated police station representation

All of our staff strive to offer the best service to our clients.  This is illustrated by the steps Serena took so that she could provide police station representation throughout this case.

Our 24 hour emergency service means that if you require legal advice on any criminal matter, whatever the time of day or night, and seek a solicitor who provides you with the client care that you need then please telephone your local office to speak to a criminal defence lawyer.

Chesterfield Crime Solicitors VHS Fletchers can be called  on 01246 283000.  Alternatively you can contact any of our solicitors using the form below.


No Comment in Police Interview, Not Guilty at Court

Nottingham crime and regulatory solicitor Martin Hadley represented provided advice and representation to a client in police interview, then continued with his case before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.  The decision relating to a ‘no comment’ interview made in the police station influenced the Crown Prosecution Service decision to drop the case before trial.

Arrest for Criminal Damage

Martin’s client was Initially arrested for a criminal damage.  Prior to police interview the interviewing office was unable to provide Martin with a great deal of evidence upon which to take instructions and advise his client as to whether he ought to answer questions in interview or not.

‘No Comment’ response to questions

Owing to this lack of evidence, Martin advised his client to respond ‘no comment’ to police questions in interview.  His client accepted that advice.  He was then placed on police bail to return to the police station.  On returning to the police station there was no further police interview.  Martin’s client was simply charged with the offence which investigations had revealed was now one of high damage.

Martin represented his client at the first court appearance.  He was presented with only a summary of the case.  There were no detailed police statements.  His client pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned to trial.

Poor quality CCTV

Despite chasing the CPS, the evidence that the prosecution intended to rely upon, including CCTV  of the incident. The footage was of a poor quality, and the remaining evidence was contradictory.

On attending court for the trial, Martin was able to speak with the prosecutor to check that he shared Martin’s view about the state of the evidence.  The prosecutor was in agreement that he would be unable to prove the case and offered no evidence.  Martin’s client was found not guilty.

Advice led to not guilty verdict

no comment interview not guilty verdict
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

Had Martin’s client not had the benefit of his advice at both the police station and court it was likely that he would have provided the police and prosecution with information or evidence that would have strengthened the case against him and may have left him with a conviction, a punishment from the court and compensation and costs to pay.

Circumstances in which a person might consider exercising their right to silence with a ‘no comment’ interview are discussed here.

Contact a Criminal Defence Lawyer

nottingham crime solicitor Martin Haldey
Nottingham crime and regulatory solicitor Martin Hadley

This case demonstrates that a specialist criminal defence solicitor from VHS Fletchers can make a difference to the outcome of your case.  This is particularly true when we are instructed at the beginning of your case when you have your first police interview.

You can read a number of reasons why you ought to seek our free and independent legal advice in police interview here.

We will always advise you about the availability of legal aid to fund your defence in the Magistrates’ Court.  You can read more about legal aid funding here.

You can contact Martin Hadley on 0115 9599550, or you can find a solicitor at your nearest office here.

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:


Police Interview following Theory Test

Police interview for Nottingham crime solicitor Jameel Malik
Nottingham criminal solicitor Jameel Malik

Nottingham criminal solicitor Jameel Malik recently represented a client who had attended Central Police station as a volunteer for police interview.  She had requested the duty solicitor and Jameel attended.

His client was due to be questioned in a police interview under caution as she was said to have used a Bluetooth earpiece to obtain answers from somebody outside the testing room while taking her theory test.

This behaviour, if true, would amount to the offence of attempted fraud as she had not actually passed the test.  When the offending had been detected she had potentially made matters worse by running away.

police interview driving test cheatThe matter could have been taken seriously by the police.  Such behaviour has the capability of undermining the integrity of the testing system.  Jameel was aware of a case that had recently been dealt with before Nottingham Crown Court where, in similar circumstances, that offender had received a sentence of 4 months immediate custody.  Details of that case can be found here.

Jameel’s client had not been in trouble with the police before.  She was accepting her responsibility for the offence.  She was in the unfortunate position where she had paid to sit this test seven times without success.

Following her admissions and expressions of remorse during police interview, Jameel was able to negotiate an out of court disposal for his client.  She was relieved to be offered Restorative Justice.

Contact Jameel about your police interview

A police interview under caution will always be free of charge to you under the legal aid scheme.  This is true whether you are under arrest or being interviewed as a volunteer.  It is also true whether the interview takes place at a police station and is recorded, or in your own home and is written down.

If you know that you are due to be interviewed then you will be able to make arrangements for Jameel to attend the interview with you so that there are no delays and he can look after your interests from the start.

Please contact Jameel on 0115 9599550 or email him here.



Criminal Solicitors, Client Care and Travel

We have 6 offices across the Midlands, staffed with criminal solicitors who are specialists in the field of criminal defence.

Whilst it will come as no surprise that these locations are situated close to local Police Stations and Courts, we will happily travel much further to represent clients accused of criminal acts as the below case shows.

crime solicitor chesterfield
Chesterfield Police Station Representative Rob Lowe

Recently, a client was arrested in the Chesterfield area, close towhere he lives.  He was taken to Chesterfield Police Station, facing an allegation of a serious assault.  He received advice and representation from Rob Lowe, an accredited police station representative based at our Chesterfield office.

The incident was alleged to have occurred in Skegness.   Our client was interviewed in Chesterfield before being released on police bail to return to the police station on a future occasion.

Chesterfield to Skegness

Unfortunately, although the investigation had begun in Chesterfield, Rob’s client was told that he would have to make his next appearance at Skegness police station.  This was a five hour round trip from his home.

chesterfield crime solicitors
Skegness Police Station

Our experience as criminal solicitors tells us that unfortunately the police are often not ready to proceed with cases when suspects are due to return on bail.  Knowing this, Rob tried to find out whether there was to be a re-interview or charge when his client returned to the police station, or whether a new date was to be fixed, or whether bail was to be cancelled.

Rob’s first priority was to prevent his client having a wasted journey.  Secondly he would be able to keep him up to date as to the progress of the investigation.

The officer was spoken to in advance.  He confirmed that Rob’s client was not required to attend and would provide a new date in due course.  When the next date was approaching, the same question had to be asked again – did our client need to attend?

This process was repeated on several occasions before Rob was informed that his client was to be re-interviewed and would need to go to Skegness. Although many firms would choose to use an agent to provide representation for a case so far away, Rob travelled with his client to Skegness.  This gave the client the advantage of an adviser who knew the case from the beginning.

Five Minute Police Interview

The interview could have been dealt with by the police in a more convenient way.  In the event it lasted less that five minutes.  The Client, however, was very grateful that not only had Rob told him that he must attend, but also that a member of VHS Fletchers Solicitors had travelled so far to continue to help him.

Our continued interest in his case was highlighted further as the solicitor for the co-accused in the case didn’t attend and hadn’t made arrangements for his client’s representation.

Contact one of our Criminal Solicitors

criminal solicitors nottingham derby chesterfield newark mansfield ilkeston
Our Offices

We recognise that your case will be extremely important to you. That is why, as criminal solicitors, we aim to provide our clients with continuity of representation. even where that involves travel as in this case.  We will also take steps to minimise the inconvenience and anxiety cause by police investigations.

If you require the assistance of a firm of criminal solicitors who will go that extra mile (or in this case 160 miles) please contact your nearest office.

If it is Rob Lowe you are after then please telephone 01246 283000 or email him here.