Tod and Mitchell specialise in all aspects of criminal defence work including police interviews and we regularly appear in criminal courts throughout Scotland dealing with cases in the High Court of Justiciary, the Sheriff Court and the Justice of the Peace Court.
Why use us?
Tod and Mitchell and our team of highly respected and experienced solicitors are well-known for our professional approach, vast knowledge of law and high percentage of case wins. Our head office is based in Paisley giving us the perfect central location for working with clients attending courts in Glasgow, Paisley, Dumbarton, Greenock and many more courts across Scotland.
Police Interview Solicitors Dumbarton
24 Hour Legal Advice for Police Interviews
Tod and Mitchell specialise in providing legal advice to people in custody suspected of criminal offences. We will provide legal representation before, during and after a police interview.
We offer a 24 hour emergency contact service to make sure that you can contact one of our solicitors at short notice.
Being taken into police custody is an extremely daunting experience. Our solicitors at Tod & Mitchell have attended thousands of police interviews at police stations all over Scotland and we can provide you with legal advice and support when you require it most.
If the police suspect that you have committed a criminal offence, they will often attend at your home address, your friends’ and families’ addresses or even your place of work with a view to detaining you and interviewing you.
If they go to you directly, or when they finally trace you, it is likely that they will detain you under the powers of Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. This power can be invoked by the police when they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed or is committing an offence punishable by imprisonment. The purpose of the detention is to allow the police officers to carry out further investigations which in the vast majority of cases includes interviewing a detainee.
When you are detained under Section 14 you should be informed that you are a suspect and the general nature of the suspected offence. You should then be taken to the police station as quickly as is reasonably practicable.
The police are entitled to detain you for a period of 12 hours after which time you should be arrested or released.
Section 14 specifically states that a detained person shall be under no obligation to answer any question other than to give his name, address, date of birth, place of birth and his nationality. Suspects are informed of this right by way of the “caution”.
Section 14A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act, 1995 allows the police to authorise the extension of the 12 hour period by a further period of 12 hours in certain specific circumstances, namely that the continued detention of the detained person is necessary to secure, obtain or preserve evidence (whether by questioning the person or otherwise) relating to an offence in connection with which the person is being detained, the offence in connection with which the detained person is being detained is a serious offence and the investigation is being conducted diligently and expeditiously. Authority for the extension can only be granted by a police officer of the rank of Inspector or above who has not been involved in the investigation.
Following the landmark decision in Cadder -v- Her Majesty’s Advocate  UKSC43 in which the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom held that the way in which the police in Scotland detained suspects was not compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights and was therefore unlawful, people in police custody in Scotland have had more rights than ever before. Peter Cadder’s assault conviction was based on evidence gained by the police before he had had the appropriate legal advice. The Supreme Court specifically stated that Cadder’s rights under Article 6(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights had been breached because he had been denied access to a solicitor before he was interviewed by the police.
These rights have now been enshrined in statute. In particular, Section 15A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 provides new rights to people who are detained under Section 14, arrested or indeed people who have attended voluntarily at a police station for the purpose of being interviewed by the police on suspicion of having committed an offence.
Section 15A(2) states that a detained person has the right to have intimation sent to his solicitor of any or all of the following:-
The fact of the suspect’s detention, his attendance at the police station, his arrest, which police station he is being detained in and that he requires a solicitor’s professional assistance.
Crucially, Section 15A(3) states that a suspect has the right to a private consultation with the solicitor before any questioning by the police and at any other time during such questioning.
The police officers who process you within the police station should inform you of these rights and if you tell them that you would like a solicitor from Tod & Mitchell to be contacted then we will arrange for you to be visited in custody immediately. If you are not informed of these rights then it is vitally important that you make a formal request for us to be notified so that we can give you the advice you require at what can often be a crucial part of the proceedings against you.
Every step taken during the initial stage of a police investigation can have an impact on your defence, therefore it is vitally important that you are given the correct legal advice from the outset. There are numerous recorded cases of suspects in police custody who have not received the appropriate legal advice inadvertently incriminating themselves or saying something which can have a very serious effect on the conduct of their defence at the trial stage.
At Tod & Mitchell, we ensure that your rights are safeguarded and we are extremely experienced in dealing with police officers in what can often be an oppressive atmosphere.
As a result of the change in law, police officers are now obliged to complete a Solicitor Access Recording Form (SARF). The purpose of this form is to explicitly state what a suspect’s rights are in relation to legal advice before a police interview. During the completion of the form, if you inform the police officer that you would like Tod & Mitchell to be contacted, they must do so and we will then arrange to visit with you in order to give you the appropriate advice and to ensure that you are legally represented during the police interview.
The Scottish Legal Aid Board announced on 7 March 2016 that, as of 1st April 2016, legal aid will be available and free to all clients being interviewed in police stations. This means that all grants of legal aid made by solicitors for police interviews will no longer require any financial contribution from the client or require financial tests to be applied. We are registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board and we can make an application on your behalf.
Tod & Mitchell are also registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s Police Station Duty Scheme providing access to legal advice for anyone who is taken into police custody.
We can also assist you in relation to interviews being conducted by the Department for Work & Pensions into alleged benefits fraud or interviews conducted by HMRC in relation to alleged tax fraud.
If you become aware that the police wish to speak to you about an alleged criminal offence then contact us without delay. We can and regularly do liaise with the police to make arrangements to accompany people to their local police station to be interviewed, avoiding the need for people to be detained at a time which is inconvenient and which can lead to embarrassment or difficulties with employers or childcare.