The police have contacted me to arrange an appointment
Receiving a phone call out of the blue from a police officer can be a highly stressful experience at the best of times, but especially so when the call is in connection with an allegation made against you.
At Vardags we have years of experience in representing people in such situations. Our priority is to protect our clients by minimising, as far as possible, the impact upon them of a police investigation.
We will consider every possible outcome of your situation and rigorously prepare for each one to ensure that you are fully prepared before meeting with the police. Your legal team will accompany you to any appointments you are required to attend, such that they can provide expert guidance throughout the process.
By taking a proactive approach at this early stage, we are successful in stopping the majority of cases from ever reaching the doors of the court.
We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.
How can Vardags help?
How a person responds to questions in interview may have a profound impact on the course of that investigation and any subsequent charging decision.
Therefore, no matter how informal and friendly the police may sound over the phone, you should waste no time in seeking legal advice.
A police interview is the questioning of a person regarding their involvement or suspected involvement in a criminal offence, and it forms a key component of any investigation.
The right approach will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, such as its size and complexity, the extent to which the police have disclosed evidence supporting the allegation, and how far the evidence requires an answer. We will actively intervene on behalf of our client to prevent an interview where we do not believe it is justified.
Years of experience in representing people in these situations has given us an intuitive feel for determining the best course of action, and by carefully tailoring our advice to the specific circumstances of the case we are able to ensure that the majority of cases we handle progress no further than the initial interview stage.
A decision to answer police questions should not be taken lightly. The interviewing officers are trained to ask certain questions which have a specific legal purpose, and it is important that a person is fully advised of their legal position before attempting to answer these questions.
Before entering the interview room, we will ensure our clients are provided with as much information as possible about the allegations and the supporting evidence. We will provide thorough advice as to the law underpinning the allegations, the merits of the case, and whether indeed the evidence requires an answer at all.
An arrest will normally result in the detention of an individual for the purposes of further investigation. However, an arrest will often lead to the use of additional police powers which will potentially have an even greater impact on the arrested person than an initial loss to their liberty.
At Vardags our priority is to limit the potential impact of a police investigation on the individual. We have a wealth of experience of working with the police and other investigative bodies, and we will use this experience to intervene and prevent an arrest where at all possible. Where an arrest has taken place we will scrutinise the decision and robustly challenge the arrest where we consider it unlawful.
A growing number of high profile individuals from the world of politics to popular entertainment have now spoken out about the personal suffering caused to them by protracted and highly publicised police investigations.
Despite the fact that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle at the heart of our justice system, there is a stigma which attaches to anyone who is accused of criminal activity. In addition to robustly defending our client in the face of criminal allegations, we will work exhaustively to protect our client’s reputation throughout the process.
Our understanding of both the statutory regime and a number of important sources of guidance that regulate police conduct allows us to make important interventions to ensure police actions are proportionate and conducted in accordance with the Human Rights Act—and that ultimately our client’s name and standing is protected throughout the investigation.
Once the investigating officers have exhausted all lines of enquiry, they will hand over any evidence gathered to a reviewing officer and often to a lawyer at the Crown Prosecution Service who will then consider the evidence and decide whether or not to charge the individual with one or more offences.
Vardags will work tirelessly to ensure that wherever possible a matter does not progress to charge. There are a number of alternative options available to the police to dispose of a matter. Where our client’s instructions would make it appropriate, we will engage with the police to ensure wherever possible that even where the evidential test has been passed, the matter is concluded by one of the alternative methods of disposal.
Following arrest, a person can be held in police detention for up to a total of 24 hours (in normal circumstances) before a charging decision must be made. Upon charge the police will usually release the individual on bail to attend court. There are only a limited number of occasions where the individual will be held in custody to attend court such as where the police have reasonable grounds to suspect that if released that individual will commit further offences, abscond, or interfere with the course of justice. Where the police may have some concerns about granting bail they may impose conditions on bail such as a condition that a person must reside at their home address or a condition forbidding an attempt to contact the complainant in the case.