If you have been arrested for a criminal offence, you have the right to free legal advice and, depending on the circumstances, the right to an independent criminal solicitor. When you are arrested, the police should inform you of your right to legal advice and should not dissuade you from exercising your right.
If you decide you would like free legal advice the police will contact a call centre who will decide if you require a solicitor to attend or if it will be sufficient to provide you with legal advice over the phone. If they decide you need a solicitor, they will contact the duty solicitor who will in turn contact you. The duty solicitor will give you some basic advice over the phone; they will inform you that the line you are speaking on is not secure and you should not say anything that you do not want the police to hear. It is unusual for the criminal solicitor to attend the station immediately - they will usually wait for the police to call to say that they are ready to interview you. Your criminal solicitor will attend the police station, give you legal advice in a private room and represent you during your police interview. The criminal solicitor’s role at the police station is very important as they check that the police do not break any rules when they interview you.
If you decide you would like to pay privately for your legal advice you are able to choose the solicitor that you want to represent you. That solicitor will usually attend the police station immediately to talk to you about your rights. Your criminal solicitor will then return when the police are ready to interview you to provide you with representation.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on crime, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist criminal defence solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local criminal defence solicitors please call us on 0800 046 1464 or complete the web-form above.
- Last Updated on 01/11/2011