Police Station Advice

Created on December 12, 2016

Police Station Advice

Due to recent changes to the Legal Aid system, defence solicitors are not expected to attend the police station when their clients are answering bail unless the case is going to be advanced in a material way.  This is because the police have a tendency to re-bail suspects on more than one occasion before a decision is made and sometimes because the decision that will be taken will not necessitate any further legal advice.

When you attend to answer your bail it is likely that the police will have decided to do one of the following:

Take no further action against you.  That will conclude the matter.  Your solicitors will be notified at the time of the decision or they will contact the police station after your attendance to find out what happened.  They will then close their file.

Re-bail you while further enquiries are conducted or while advice is sought from the Crown Prosecution Service.  You should either ask the police to call your solicitors to confirm the new bail date and time or inform them yourself after your release from custody.  In the event that they do not hear from the police or from you, they will contact the police themselves to obtain the new bail date.

Charge you with an offence or offences. If you are to be charged with any offences then the police should be asked to contact a representative from your solicitors.

If you are charged with an offence (or offences) then you will need a solicitor to represent you.  If you are charged with an offence which is not serious enough to qualify for Legal Aid or if you are unlikely to qualify as a result of your means, then you should discuss how you wish to proceed in advance of the court date.

Offer you a Caution (Reprimand or Final Warning in the case of Youths) or a Fixed Penalty Notice.  It is likely that you will have received advice in relation to this option by the legal advisor who assisted you on the first occasion.

Serve you with papers relating to Identification Procedures.  Again, it is likely that you will have received advice on this issue by the Legal Advisor who assisted you on the first occasion, if relevant to your case.

May we take this opportunity to emphasise that you are entitled to free and independent legal advice at all times while in police custody.  If you are unsure of your rights or are concerned by the behaviour of the police at any stage then you should ask to speak to a Legal Advisor.  If the police propose to interview you then, unless you are satisfied that you have already received sufficient advice on all relevant issues, you should ask to speak to a Legal Advisor before entering the interview room.

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