Attending a police interview

Attending a police interview can be a daunting and somewhat confronting experience. Elements that contribute to this experience include the initial unfamiliarity with the process, legal system, location of interview, unknown of what happens next or more importantly, what you say or do during the interview.

It is always important to

speak with us before you attend the police interview. 

There are many elements to a police interview and this article aims to address the common questions with attending a police interview:

I’m Unsure What I Should Say, What Should I Say?

If you are unsure as to what you should say, then as the old saying goes, “loose lips sink ships.” If you are a suspect and are officially being interviewed, it is best that you provide a “no comment” interview. The law requires that you must provide ‘identifier’ details such as name, date of birth and address, but other than this, you have the choice to make a no comment interview. It is an offence to not provide the “identifier” details and therefore a further charge may be issued.

If you decide to make a no comment interview, it is best to enter a no comment interview at the start of the interview. It does not help your case to answer some questions and answer “no comment” to others.

Most important of all, do not be rude, cheeky or openly forthcoming with your responses. Think about your position and know that at the end of the day, no matter how friendly you or the officer/s are, the police officer/s have a job to do.

The Police Contacted Me and Want Me to Go to The Police Station for an Interview, What Should I Do?

Every case is different, and you need to determine if voluntarily attending a police interview (without a lawyer present or without speaking to a lawyer before attending) is the right decision.

For instance, you may be a witness to a crime and the police may be seeking a witness statement from you, or, you may be a suspect and don’t know that you are a suspect until the time of interview and/or from the answers you provide at the time of a preliminary interview.  Other things to consider are whether you are currently on bail, have other legal matters pending or the nature and gravity of the reason for the interview.

Ultimately, it is a question of sooner rather than later. That is, if the police want to speak with you, then it will happen eventually, so you need to consider if you want it to happen on your terms (i.e. time, date etc.) or theirs and unexpectedly.

 Am I a Suspect or a Witness?

In the event police contact you and want you to attend the police station for an interview, it is always best to ask the officer what the reason for the interview is and if you are a suspect or a witness.  The answer to this question will determine your next course of action. Regardless if you believe you may be a suspect or a witness, contact us for further advice. It is not uncommon for self-incrimination to occur, whereby a witness attends an interview to provide information only to be criminally charged.

Can I Have a Lawyer Present at the Police Interview?

If you are being interviewed in relation to an offence (i.e. you are now a suspect), by law, the police are required to read you your rights. One of your rights is that you have the right to speak with or have a lawyer present, do you wish to exercise this or any of the other rights? However, it does not matter if you are a suspect or a witness, a lawyer can be secured for both purposes. It is important to note that a lawyer’s involvement in a police interview and proceedings, is likewise governed by rules and regulations. These rules and regulations may restrict the lawyer’s involvement in the interview. It is therefore important that you secure our services for both attending an interview and providing advice. 

If you have any questions about the above information or you would like assistance, please contact us on 5303 0281 or at reception@ballaratlawyers.net.au.

The information on this website is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice about your particular circumstances.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. 

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