Your legal right to representation
If you have been arrested, bailed and asked to return for questioning or invited to a voluntary interview at a police station in the UK, you are entitled to free, impartial legal advice and assistance.
This right to free legal advice was enshrined in law in January 1985, and it applies as soon as you have been taken to a police station.
Sometimes the police may imply that advice can only be provided by the station’s on-call solicitor, but this is not the case. As soon as you have been cautioned, the police must inform you of your rights, including access to free legal advice from a criminal solicitor or firm of your choice. You do not have to use the on-call solicitor and any legal assistance you receive in a police station is free, no matter who advises you.
Appointing a legal advisor
Being arrested or interviewed under caution is a very stressful experience and choosing a solicitor may not be the first thing on your mind. Additionally, some people think the very act of appointing a lawyer indicates guilt. But this is far from the case: in fact, those with appropriate legal representation are able to make more informed decisions in response to police questioning.
At Lawtons, we have seen time and again that criminal cases can stand and fall on what was said during a police interview. If you are attended by a solicitor, the police are required to disclose any relevant information before the interview and you will have the opportunity to discuss it with your solicitor. By contrast, if you are interviewed without legal representation you may not be aware of all the evidence. This is why, if you are arrested, it is vitally important that you exercise your right to legal advice.
Clear, professional advice
As one of the leading firms in London and the Home Counties, all Lawtons’ criminal defence solicitors are highly experienced and supremely qualified to offer assistance. Whatever the circumstances, we offer the best legal advice at any time of day or night.
If you need immediate assistance, please call our 24-hour helpline on 0333 577 0522. We have offices in London, Luton, Hatfield, Essex, Milton Keynes and Bedford and our lines are open all day, every day. You can also contact us here.