Following a voluntary police interview you will usually be reported for consideration of a summons.
The officer will say to you:
Because you are free to leave and not under arrest I am reporting you for consideration of summons for the offence of (The alleged offence) and any other offences connected with it. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention now something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.
This is done to formally inform you you MAY be prosecuted - Please note NOT that YOU WILL BE.
It is a convenient way of informing you that you may receive a summons for the offences. It is done this way so that if you are summonsed there is no need for you to come back to the police station.
It is usually impossible to give you a clear timescale as to when or if a prosecution may take place following a voluntary interview. This is because usually the case has to be referred to a decision maker; ie. supervisor of the officer who interviewed you or the Crown Prosecution Service.
What are the possible outcomes? - Note these are just a few!
1. Summons in the post
This is where you receive a summons in the post summoning you to attend a particular court on a particular date and time to answer the allegation. It may contain a summary of the allegation; a means form and details of what may happen in court. You must attend on the date and time specified. If not the Court may in certain circumstances issues a warrant for your arrest if the prosecution can prove that you have received the summons and not attended court without good reason. The summons is sometimes referred to as a 'Requisition'
2. Police Caution/Conditional Caution
This is where you are given a formal warning by the police. In order to be given a caution you have to admit the offence. A caution should not be given by the police where you deny the offence. To be offered a caution the case should be referred to a person who is at least the rank of sergeant. There must be sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for a caution to be given. Whilst not a criminal offence it will be recorded on the police national computer. It can later be cited in court. It does not prevent prosecution for a offence if new evidence comes to light and it will have implications for jobs in that it could be recorded on a disclosure and barring list making the person receiving it being barred from certain jobs and may also have implications for entry to foreign countries where a vis is required.
It can only be given to an adult over 18. There are different procedures for juveniles.
A conditional caution is where the police offer a caution which is conditional on conditions specified by the police are complied with. It could for instance include a requirement to take place in a drug or alcohol course. The offender must sign a document containing details of the offence; the fact that they admit it and consent to the conditions of the caution.
3. No further action.
This is where the police inform you that no further action will be taken in the matter. Please note it is not a automatic bar to prosecution should new evidence come to light regarding the offence. A person may be arrested in future for the same offence if this is the case.
If you have a voluntary police interview in England or Wales and want free legal representation either at a voluntary interview or if you have been arrested please contact police station agent on 07535 494446 for free police station representation by Robert Cashman a fully qualified criminal solicitor who works on behalf of Tuckers solicitors. Representation can be by remote attendance if you are outside our local area or in person in Kent and South East London.