Voluntary Interviews

Voluntary Interview Solicitors

Do not speak to the police without talking to a lawyer first.

Most police interviews are carried out during a person’s detention at the police station after being arrested on suspicion of committing a crime. However, there has been a huge rise in recent years in the number of ‘voluntary interviews’ (sometimes called a ‘voluntary interview under caution’). This is where the police interview a suspect under caution on a voluntary basis – i.e. the suspect is not arrested and taken into custody.

Voluntary Interviews

You will usually receive a knock at the door or a telephone call from a police officer who asks you to come into the police station to “have a chat”. The police may make it seem like there is nothing to worry about but in reality, they will want to conduct a formal recorded interview in exactly the same way as if you were detained in custody. What you do (or don’t) say during the interview could severely damage your position should you be charged. Make sure you have a solicitor with you at the police station to advise, assist you and to protect and advance your legal rights.

Many people find this initial contact distressing – especially if they have never been in trouble with the police before.

Does it mean the matter isn't serious?

Absolutely not. Just because a matter is dealt with by way of a voluntary interview does not mean that the police are taking the matter lightly. The police now routinely interview suspects voluntarily for serious allegations such as robbery, drugs matters and serious sexual offences. One police force recently conducted a voluntary interview for a suspect in a murder case.

Do I need a Solicitor?

Legal advice and representation is free of charge for everyone who attends a police station for a voluntary interview. Contacting a solicitor to attend the interview with you does not make you look guilty. Indeed, it is likely to reduce the chance of you being charged.

Despite how friendly the police have been with you, they are not on your side and you should never speak to the police about any allegation until you have taken legal advice from one of our expert criminal defence solicitors.

“I don’t need a solicitor because I’ve done nothing wrong” is the biggest mistake people make. Although you may think you have “done nothing wrong”, the police likely think you have. You should threfore ensure you are protected by having a lawyer go with you to the interview. Do not underestimate the seriousness of what could happen if you are charged.

Book a solicitor for free

If you have been asked to attend the police station to be interviewed, complete the form on this page and one of our Solicitors will call you back to confirm our attendance. If your interview is at short notice (such as within the next 24 hours), please call us on 0333 016 3333.