With over 20 years experience as a police station representative and Crown Court case worker I see many cases; in particular those where the client had no legal representation at the police station. I always ask “Why did you not ask for legal advice at the police station”? It is frustrating to often hear the same response; “I have not done anything wrong, so I didn’t think I needed one”.

In my experience this is even more of a reason to request legal advice at the police station. More often than not those few hours of being detained for questioning could shape your future life. They could be the difference between a charge, no further action being taken or how you put your case before the courts. Clients occasionally say “police told me that a solicitor would take ages and you could be out of here by the time they turn up”.

Give that some thought, the police do not want legal representation attending because we know what we are doing, we know the rules and with the greatest respect a suspect does not. Why else would it be the case that those that have committed offences always ask for legal advice. Additionally what the police say is not true; we have strict time limits in which we have to attend; and even if true I myself would rather wait in a police cell for a while longer if that wait could shape the rest of my future.

Most recently I had a case before the Crown Court case where my client was a respectable working gentleman. He was arrested for serious allegations including False Imprisonment, which allegedly took place during the course of his employment. He denied the allegations, had never been in trouble before and quite rightly indicated that he wanted legal advice at the police station. I attended and as a result he was not charged with False Imprisonment, but had other offences charged and remanded in custody. We made a successful bail application, which was assisted by the content of his interview. The trial recently concluded with Not Guilty verdicts on all allegations and a costs order made in favour of my client.

This perhaps portrays a picture of how the difference at the very early stages of a police investigation can affect the rest of your life.

Don’t make the mistake of being unrepresented at the police station – ask for Ringrose Law, available 24hrs a day 7 days a week every day of the year.

Jan Povada

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