1. Speak to a solicitor
It is imperative that you speak to a solicitor before being interviewed by the police. They will be able to advise you whether you should answer questions, make a ‘no comment’ record of interview, or prepare a statement to read to the police.
Answers provided in a record of interview can impact the rest of your case and commit you to a particular version of events.
2. Do not panic
An interview with police can be stressful and intimidating. It is important to remember that you have a choice as to whether or not you answer questions, and can stop answering at any time during the interview.
You are entitled to have a criminal lawyer present whilst the interview takes place, however their involvement beyond this is very limited. If you are under the age of 18, the police are required to interview you with a parent or independent person present.
3. Listen to, and answer each question very carefully
It is very tempting to answer questions quickly in order to have the interview finished. Doing so however can lead to saying too much, misinterpreting a question and confusing yourself.
When you are being interviewed, remember to listen to what the question is asking, and answer nothing further than is required. Jokes and sarcasm can be dangerous because they are easily taken out of context when read back on paper.
4. Do not try to guess answers
If you do not know an answer to a question, do not try and guess it or make up an answer to fit. If it turns out to be false, it may be used in evidence against you during the hearing, which may damage your credibility.
Remember that the Police may know more than what they appear to during the interview.
5. Do not get angry or emotional
Listening to what the police are alleging against someone can evoke a range of emotions, often anger. It is important to remain calm, as answers given in anger can sometimes make the wrong impression or lead to exaggeration.