When the police are investigating an offence they have a number of avenues that they will typically explore for evidence. One of the most important however is the suspect’s interview. An interview with a suspect can make or break a case. It may also eliminate a suspect in favour of a different one. The police interview is a critical stage for any suspect.
The police will often simply arrest a suspect in order to interview them. This is done to preserve evidence and to obtain accounts from suspects as quickly as possible. It is, however, increasingly common for police officers to approach suspects and arrange to interview them at a mutually convenient time.
Unless a suspect is considered dangerous or there is an imminent risk of a serious offence being committed or evidence being destroyed police guidance actually encourages this voluntary approach.
A voluntary interview has a number of benefits for police officers and suspects. For those asked to attend for interview, knowing the time and place of the interview will often take some of the stress out of the situation and will allow time for them to seek legal advice.
For the police a voluntary interview allows time to properly prepare, it also allows some conversation with the suspect before the interview in order that a rapport can be established and some preliminary enquiries can often be made.
It is for this reason that it is essential that anyone invited for a voluntary interview obtains legal advice before too much discussion takes place. Whilst a police officer may seem very friendly on the phone, and indeed most are very friendly, they are investigating an offence and are ultimately looking to secure evidence. Quite often the police may have no evidence that can be used at Court. They will be hoping for an admission from a suspect to make a case.
Prompt legal advice can stop a suspect causing themselves difficulties or making their situation worse. Advice at the police station is always free, whether attending as a vonlunteer or under arrest.
It is also important to remember that the ‘voluntary’ label is a little misleading. If a suspect does not attend or avoids the officers, the officer will have no choice but to arrest. This can mean a lengthy wait in a police cell while everything is organised and the interview conducted.
If you are contacted by the police for an interview, the best advice would be to agree to be interviewed. You should then contact your solicitor as soon as possible to arrange for them to be there. Do not speak about the allegations with the officer until you have received legal advice.
If you have been invited for a voluntary interview then contact us as we can assist you. Call us today on 01270 625478 to speak to our expert team. Alternatively you can complete this form for a call back.
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Derek MacDonald is a Partner in the Crime department. He graduated from Birmingham University in 1989 with honours, qualifying as a Solicitor in 1994. He has practiced Criminal Law in Cheshire for over 25 years. He has specialises in this field and joined the firm as a Partner in 2003. Derek is a qualified duty solicitor and holds the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation.
As a Specialist in Road traffic he regularly deals with all motoring matters including, Speeding, Drink/Drug Driving allegations, Special Reasons Arguments and Exceptional Hardship Applications.
Derek can advise right from the outset in these matters including attending at Police Stations and Custody facilities with defendants for Police interviews under Caution.
Derek will provide support to clients for;
Police Station investigations
Magistrates Court Proceedings
Crown Court Proceedings
Tim Graduated from Staffordshire University in 1999 with honours and joined Poole Alcock in 2002, where he completed his training contract and qualified in 2004. Tim has specialised in Criminal Defence since qualification providing expert advice and representation for Crime and Motoring cases. Tim is a qualified duty Solicitor and hold the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation.
In a previous life Tim was a driving instructor and as such has a unique passion for all things motoring. Tim is well respected throughout his work life. Tim is a technical lawyer and a formidable advocate, with a very high success rate at Court.
Tim specialises in exceptional hardship applications and special reasons arguments. Tim attends Court virtually every day for clients on the full range of criminal matters.
Tim can provide support to clients for;
Police Station investigations
Magistrates Court Proceedings
Defending Local Authority Prosecution.Contact Me
Chris joined the firm in 2006, having previously studied Law with Criminology at Keele University and the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in York. Chris carried out a training contract with the firm, qualifying into the Criminal Defence department in 2009.
Chris is a qualified Solicitor defending clients in the Police Stations and Courts of Cheshire and Greater Manchester. He became an experienced and confident trial advocate with a great reputation amongst his clients and peers. Chris is a qualified duty solicitor and accredited police station representative. He is currently responsible for the supervision of the criminal team in his role as Head of Department.
In 2016 Chris took on the role of IT Manager and is responsible for:
Lesley Barnett is a Solicitor in the Crime Department. Her career in criminal defence started in 1995 as a Legal Executive. She obtained police station accreditation in 1996.
Graduating from Staffordshire University in 2009, Lesley qualified as a solicitor in 2010. She is a duty solicitor and a higher courts’ advocate.
Lesley represents clients at the police station, Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court. She has experience of dealing with cases ranging from theft and public order through to drugs supply, fraud and murder.
Support for clients can be provided in the following areas:-
Police station investigation.
Crown Court.Contact Me
Serena graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2005, with honours, and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2012. She joined the firm in 2006 and qualified as an accredited police station representative in 2007.
Serena manages Crown Court cases on a daily basis and has experience in dealing with clients accused of murder, manslaughter, serious assaults, rape and sexual assaults, and complex fraud cases. In addition to this, she regularly deals with post conviction Proceeds of Crime Confiscation applications – under POCA 2002.
Serena is an experienced police station representative and has dealt with a wide range of cases for clients either under arrest or interviewed on a voluntary basis, including allegations of benefit fraud.
Serena also has specialist experience in dealing with clients who wish to make applications opposing the disclosure of information from third parties with regards to Disclosure and Barring Service checks, and has a high success rate for these applications.
Serena holds the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation for Magistrates Court representation and as such is duty qualified. She represents clients for motoring offences including speeding, drink driving as well as exceptional hardship and special reasons arguments.
Serena will provide support to clients for:
Stuart graduated in 1977 with honours and qualified in 1980. Stuart joined the firm in 2014 and has practiced Criminal Law in Cheshire for over 35 years. Stuart has a huge reputation and a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with his chosen field. Stuart is a qualified duty solicitor and holds the Law Society Criminal Litigation Accreditation.
Stuart has an excellent reputation for knowledge and understanding of criminal law. He has an excellent success rate in defending all manner of criminal cases both at the Police Station and Court. Stuart regularly conducts trials at the Magistrates’ Court and had a reputation for being tenacious and forthright.
Stuart has successfully defended many motoring matters before the court. Exceptional hardship applications, special reason arguments, speeding offences and drink and drug driving allegations are all regular daily hearings for Stuart.
Stuart can support Clients for;
Police Station investigations
Magistrates Court Proceedings
Youth Court Proceedings
Defending Local Authority ProsecutionsContact Me
Mr Flood is a wizard in Court!
I have had to use your services at a very difficult time and having been a solicitor I understand the pressure you work under. The entire team has been professional and understanding and you should be proud of the excellent service you provide. I must give special mention to Damian who I felt had a superb customer manner. He is an asset.
I would like to thank Stuart Flood and his staff for their professional, friendly and compassionate service at a very difficult time.
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Tim, the man, the myth, the legend.
I just wanted to thank you for the way your solicitor, Stuart Flood defended my cousin at Crewe Magistrates Courts recently.
Stuart did a tremendous job of keeping the case at the Magistrates Courts and in getting the best possible outcome we could have ever hoped for. All concerned were mightily impressed at his skill & professionalism. Stuart and the Probation Officer were a formidable team.
Thank you once again from all the family. One never knows whats is around the corner but with respect, hopefully we won’t be in need of your defence services again, however, if we do we will know where to come.
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This is just a quick note to thank you very much for all your help on Friday 16th at Crewe Magistrates Court.
You understood my exact situation perfectly and communicated this very effectively to the court. You were a great comfort to me in unfamiliar circumstances.
Thank you very much again and you are correct – things are looking up once more!
The unexpected experience of a H&S Executive prosecution was facing my company and this proved to extend over a period of several months because of the slow process. I instructed Poole Alcock to handle the matter on behalf of the company and I found Dan Brooks, the Partner who heads up Criminal Litigation, to be extremely supportive and responsive from initial enquiry and instruction through to the hearing and thereafter. The process did prove to be stressful but Poole Alcock walked us through each stage and ensured that it went as smoothly as possible. I was specifically grateful for Dan’s advice on the day of the trial. Their advice proved to be accurate and their recommendations were offered sympathetically and in a measured way.
I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending the services of Poole Alcock to any company facing similar circumstances.
I am extremely happy with the help I received from Poole Alcock and would not hesitate to use your company’s services again.
Thank you so much for all your preparation and work in the court this morning. I want to thank you and each of the solicitors that helped me over the last 18 months. I would also like to say a big thank you to the office and reception staff who have always been most helpful and polite to me.
Tim was easy to talk to and provided appropriate re-assurance
Tim was very easy to talk to and provided appropriate re-assurance.
Tim’s representation was professional, knowledgeable and robust. Excellent service all round!
Tim Edgeley gave an excellent service throughout my case and kept me updated regularly.
I felt I was given a very good service in a very professional manner.
I would just like to personally drop you a line to thank you for your considerable personal and professional effort today, I am well aware that its your job, however when I spoke to Scott before he assured me without reservation that you were the man for the job, he was absolutely correct, I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to anyone who may be in as an unfortunate situation that we were today.