Old Bailey Solicitors

The Right to Silence in Police Interviews

Why would I make no comment in interview?

‘You are entitled to have the case proven against you’. Making no comment in interview.

Old Bailey Solicitor’s Police Station Representative Kim Evans represented a 24 year old teacher accused of assault this week, resulting in no further action.

Kim told us that in this particular case, the complainant had not provided a statement to police after making his initial complaint alleging that she had attempted to assault him. This meant that, in the absence of independent witnesses, there was no evidence against the client capable of supporting a prosecution against her. This fact only became apparent once Kim tested the disclosure provided by the investigating officer, who at first declined to say whether or not the complainant was willing to substantiate his initial allegation. Explaining the likely effect of a criminal record on her career encouraged the officer to approach the case in a more pragmatic and collaborative manner.

Kim said “this is probably one of the most important reasons why people under arrest should ask for a solicitor – disclosure is not provided to suspects who do not have solicitors, and so they are not in a position to assess the strength, or weakness of the case against them. In this example, if the teacher had admitted to assault she would have been eligible for an Adult Police Caution, but that would have prevented her continued employment as a teacher”.  In short, the effect would have been devastating for her.

People suspected of criminal offences are entitled to have the case proven against them and to make no comment in interview so as not to convict themselves by their own words.

Always have a solicitor in interview – it’s free and independent legal advice, and could save your career.


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