What Happens After A Police Interview?
In England and Wales, after a police interview you may be charged with a criminal offence. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will consider all the evidence that the police have gathered against you to decide whether or not to charge you. If they decide to charge you, the CPS will set out the offence(s) they feel is appropriate and explain what will happen next.
If you are charged with an offence in England and Wales, then there are four options available for what happens next: Charged and being kept in custody ;summons; postal requisition; or being bailed. If a summons is issued, then this means that you must attend court on a certain date to answer the charges brought against you. A postal requisition means you attend court also at a particular date and time. If you do not a warrant will be issused for your arrest. If you are bailed, then this means that you will be released on certain conditions until your court hearing at a future date.
If however you are charged and kept in custody you will go to court at the next available hearing; usually the next day. Until then you will be held in custody at the police station.
If the police decide not to charge you following an interview, they may take no further action; issue a caution; or refer you into restorative justice. A caution is an effective way for the police to deal with less serious offences and is an admission of guiltyrather than prosecution. It can have serious consquences such as placing you on the sex offenders register or could be disclosed in a disclosure barring service check meaning you may have diffculties obtaining certain types of employment. Restorative justice allows those affected by crime to come together to resolve how best to put things right and repair any harm done.
It is important that anyone attending a police station for an interview has access to legal advice from either a criminal solicitor or police station representative. This is because the consequences of being charged or even cautioned with a criminal offence can be serious and it is essential to ensure that your legal rights are respected and that you are given the best advice available. A legal advisor will also be able to guide you at each step of the process, from arrest to court hearing. They may even be able to challenge any evidence used against you in an effort to potentially have charges dropped or reduced.
It is always advisable for anyone facing a police interview in England and Wales to enlist the help of a specialist criminal defence solicitor who can advise on all matters related to their case, from preparing for interviews and attending hearings, through to challenges against evidence and mitigating circumstances. In addition, having access to a qualified legal adviser during the course of an investigation can also have a beneficial outcome, as they may be able to negotiate with the police to avoid charges being brought or reduce any potential penalties.
You should always ensure that you speak to a solicitor before attending any interview and take their advice regarding any other steps that need to be taken in your case. If you are charged with an offence, then obtaining dedicated legal representation is essential in ensuring that your rights are fully protected throughout the process and securing the best possible outcome for your individual circumstances.