The Do’s and Don’ts When in Police Custody


Why you should always have a solicitor/lawyer at a police station and follow this simple guide to the Do’s and Don’ts when in police custody. You can contact me on +447770267894  for immediate help.

“You will only be here for a short while. A quick interview and then you’re on your way home”

“You can have a solicitor if you want but he/she will take hours and it will only mean you spending hours in here. We just want to have a quick chat and you will then be bailed”

“l didn’t think I needed a lawyer as I hadn’t done anything wrong”

The above are just some of the reasons why people under arrest do not ask for a solicitor and by the time they decide they do need a solicitor it if often too late.

Being in a police station can be a very worrying and stressful experience made even more so by the fact that people often spend the night in a police cell with no communication with family or friends. But the person you will really need is a solicitor/lawyer who will be the only friend you will have in the police station.

Anyone under arrest or anyone who is going to be interviewed by appointment at a police station is entitled to a lawyer free of charge 24/7. Do not let the police put you off from having one. If the police believed you were innocent why would they arrest you in the first place or ask you to attend the police station to be interviewed? Why would they keep you in the cells (sometimes overnight) if they thought you had nothing to do with the allegation?

The police are not paid to prove your innocence, completely the opposite in fact.  They are paid to investigate, gather evidence against the accused and then to charge. Criminal Defence Lawyers are however paid to prove your innocence or if you are guilty to mitigate on your behalf in order to get the minimum sentence in the circumstances.

From a solicitor’s/lawyer’s point of view it doesn’t matter whether you have committed the offence or not. Subject to strict rules about what we can and can’t do there is nothing wrong in a lawyer representing someone who is guilty of the offence alleged.  The question from a defence lawyer’s point of view is “Can the police prove my client committed the alleged offence?” A solicitor will be able to advise you whether you should answer questions or not and whether you should provide any samples requested by the police. What you do or say in a police station will have long-term consequences, so let a lawyer help you make the right decision.

The police generally do not like having solicitor’s/lawyer’s in a police station because we may advise a client not to or to do certain things, which might make their job harder, but the police are paid to investigate. A lawyer’s only duty is to his/her client and a lawyer’s job is to help their client with advice that is for the benefit of the client regardless of the consequences.

Here are some of the main reasons why you should have a solicitor/lawyer representing you at a police station:-

  • If you are attending a police station by appointment contact a lawyer first. The police should not normally arrest someone who is attending the police station voluntarily and a lawyer maybe able to persuade the police not to arrest you when you attend and to allow you to remain as a volunteer at a police station. If you remain as a volunteer you are entitled to leave anytime and also the police cannot take your fingerprints and or photograph. The police can only arrest you if there is a good reason to arrest you. A defence lawyer will know whether there is a good reason or not. 
  • The police are entitled to keep you in detention for 24 hours. They can only keep you in detention for any further hours in limited circumstances. A lawyer will be able to make representations to a senior police officer about why the investigating officers should not be able to keep you in police detention beyond the 24 hours. A lawyer can also make representations about your detention within the 24-hour period also and you may be released on bail for example before the 24-hour period expires as a result of this representation. 
  • A lawyer will be able to advise you as to whether you should answer questions, submit a prepared statement or do a ‘no comment’ interview.  This is something that only an experienced lawyer can advise you on and each case depends on the particular circumstances. The police would of course want you to talk in the interview. Either to admit the offence or say something in the interview, which will be tape-recorded which and they can later prove to be a lie. The police are also not obliged to give you or your lawyer all the information they have about the case. Their only duty is not to mislead the detainee and/or his lawyer. They may for example be withholding the fact they have DNA linking a person to a crime. A lawyer will be able to advise you whether they are likely to have further information/evidence, which they have not disclosed. 
  • A lawyer will be able to advise you on whether you should provide any intimate samples (for example blood) or samples of your handwriting.  This may prove/disprove your involvement and a lawyer will be able to help you make the right decision. 
  • A lawyer will be able to help with whether or not you should take part in any identification procedures and what the consequences are of not taking part. 

These are just some of the reasons why you should always have a lawyer with you at a police station. Even if you are accused of something minor it may have long-term consequences for you if you are convicted.

Once the police are ready to interview you we are required to attend the police station within 45 minutes.  “So isn’t it a lot better to waste 45 minutes of your life rather than risk a conviction or even worse a prison sentence?” Call me on +447770267894 
I am available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

You can either arrange for a lawyer to attend the police station with you if you are returning to the police station on bail or attending voluntarily. You can ask for a lawyer when you are at a police station.  Alternatively you can also ask the police to allow you to call a friend or family member who could arrange legal representation for you.

You can also read more about the personal criminal defence solicitor service provided here.