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Police Station Questions and Answers

Do the police have to tell me everything they have against me whilst I am at the police station?

The police are not obliged to disclose all the evidence they have against you whilst you are at the police station. The police are required to give you sufficient information so that you understand why you have been arrested, namely what the offence is, where and when it was committed and why your arrest was necessary. The police are in fact trained to specifically withhold information during an investigation if they considered it appropriate.

The police however may not mislead you about the evidence they have. For example they may not say that they have your fingerprints on a key item of evidence if it is not true.

If you are about to be interviewed by the police at the police station, without a criminal lawyer, it is very unlikely that they will give you much information. You will therefore go into the interview not knowing what to expect and may be taken by surprise. If however you instruct a criminal defence solicitor they will be able to speak to the police, prior to interview, on your behalf.

Getting disclosure from the police is one of the key skills of the criminal defence solicitor. It requires tenacity and tactical awareness from your criminal lawyer to be able to extract critical information from the police; this is especially so in more serious and complex cases.

Your criminal solicitor should be able to use their skill, experience and knowledge of criminal law and procedure to extract information from the police so that their advice to you is as well informed as it can possibly be.

Published 5/3/11

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