Tag Archives: prepared statement

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.

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VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:


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