YOUR RIGHTS IN POLICE CUSTODY
At McGreevy and Co., Solicitors we regularly provide advice to clients who find themselves in police custody. We have provided advice in cases ranging from the most minor, such as someone detained for the theft of a bag of crisps through to the most serious, such as rape and murder – and everything in between. We have a 24 hour emergency telephone number so that advice can be provided to persons in custody as quickly as possible. Please feel free to save our 24 hour telephone number – 0141 422 2220 – to your phone.
If you are detained in a police station as an accused person you have various rights. The Scottish Government has produced a Letter of Rights which provides important information to persons who find themselves in police custody. Follow this link to the Letter of Rights. You should ensure that you are afforded all of your rights in police custody and, if you are not, you should make the appropriate complaint to the police at the time and then inform your solicitor.
One of the most important rights you have in custody is the right to silence. The only caveat to this right is that you require to give your name, address, date of birth, place of birth and your nationality. We suggest that you do not speak to the police about your case until you have sought the advice of a solicitor. You have a right to a private consultation with a solicitor prior to the police interviewing you. This will initially be by telephone but, if necessary or preferable, a face to face consultation can also be arranged prior to interview. You also have the right for a solicitor to be present throughout the interview.
At interview our advice, unless otherwise stated, would be to make “No Comment” to all questions asked of you by the police. This is your right.
It may be suggested to you that it will be quicker if you do not bother to seek the assistance of a solicitor. It may also be suggested in the interview that this is the only opportunity that you have to put your side of the story. That is simply not the case. If you are prosecuted there will be a trial at which you will have an opportunity to have your position presented. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security. We recommend that you exercise your right to silence and we strongly advise against waiving your right to seek advice from a solicitor.
At the conclusion of the interview you will either be charged with an offence or released without charge. If you are charged you will either be kept in custody until the next court day, released on a police undertaking to attend court at a later date or released for report to the Procurator Fiscal’s Office. Either way, you should ensure that you have the police immediately contact a solicitor or contact one immediately on your release.
Please feel free to contact us for advice on 0141 422 2220.