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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390. Lines are staffed 24 hours.
When you contact us a member of our client relations team will take the full details of your situation, assess whether we can assist you, and if so, determine the best team for your case.
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If you need a lawyer immediately because a person has been taken into custody or involved in an incident, Vardags can provide emergency legal cover at any time. We offer a swift response in person, anywhere in London or within the M25. Outside that area we may still be able to help. Call our confidential 24 hour enquiry line for immediate help.If you have been arrested or you are the subject of a dawn raid we strongly recommend you have a lawyer present in order to advise you on your options in dealing with police and other investigating bodies and to ensure your rights are protected. Note that we normally charge £350 per hour including travel time and our fees in connection with emergency legal services will usually be a minimum of £2,000 + VAT.
*All enquiries are completely confidential. We do not handle Legal Aid cases. Our lawyers do not undertake criminal work on a no win, no fee basis.