Police Interviews

Beenleigh Police StationIf the police suspect that you have information about an offence, they may ask you to attend a police interview. You do not have to attend. Only if you have been arrested can you be compelled to attend. If that is the case you should contact Michael Gatenby of Gatenby Criminal Lawyers before participating in a police interview. We can advise you of your rights and/or attend with you during the interview.

Whether you attend voluntarily or after being arrested, you will have a generally have a ‘right to remain silent’ at the police station. This means that you do not have to answer questions about the alleged offence, except in certain limited cases.

Any answers you voluntarily give police is admissible in evidence and can later be used in Court against you. The admission may, under certain circumstances be admissible in evidence even if it is obtained by the Police improperly or illegally.

You should provide your name, address and date of birth. You should not answer any other questions until you have contacted Michael Gatenby and obtained advice.

Gatenby Criminal Lawyers are available to attend a Police station or provide advice after hours if the Police want to interview you.

For after hours advice you should contact Michael Gatenby on 0457 999 022

Police Interviews – How A Criminal Lawyer Can Help

A record of interview is a serious matter. A request for one means that the police consider you a suspect. If you were not a suspect you would not be asked to participate in an interview.

There is inherent unfairness in an interview.

  1. You are in the unfamiliar surrounds of a police station.
  2. You are being interviewed by experienced police officers that are trained to get admissions from you.
  3. There will be at least two police officers asking you questions.
  4. The room is fitted with electronic recording equipment that is unfamiliar to you.
  5. The interview is conducted by way of questions being asked by the police and answers being given by you.

In Queensland the law recognises that there is unfairness in the process and legislated that before the police officer starts to question a suspect for an indictable offence they must inform them that:

  1.  They may telephone or speak to a friend or relative to inform the person of their whereabouts and ask the person to be present.
  2.  They may telephone or speak to a lawyer of their choice and arrange for the lawyer to be present during the questioning.

If requested the police officer must delay the questioning for a reasonable time to allow the person to arrive.

The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act also provides that the police officer must provide reasonable facilities to enable the person to speak with the lawyer.

If you are considering participating in an interview you should exercise your right to contact a solicitor of your choice and ask them to attend the police station.

You are then entitled to have the questioning delayed until your solicitor has attended the station. Both you and the solicitor can then engage in a confidential conversation and consider whether an interview would be of assistance to you. This time can be used to gather your thoughts and ensure that what you say is correct.

An experienced criminal lawyer can participate in the interview and ensure that it is conducted fairly and that no improper or prejudicial questions are put to you. It is much easier for the lawyer to do this during the interview than at some later court hearing.

As criminal lawyers we understand the elements of criminal offences and the defences that are available. While the arresting officer may not be interested in eliciting your defence to the charge, your solicitor will be proactively ensuring that this occurs.

If asked to participate in an interview you should:

  1. Immediately ask to speak to a lawyer;
  2. Have your solicitor request that the interview is delayed to enable them to attend.
  3. Speak with your solicitor in private and consider whether the interview would be of benefit to you.
  4. Arrange for your solicitor to attend the interview.

Experienced criminal lawyers are used to dealing with police and can ensure that your rights are protected and minimise your exposure to risk.