When the police interview a suspect under ‘Caution’ there are three legal advice options for any defence lawyer to consider.
The legal advice given will change from case to case, as there is no ‘one size fits all’ set of circumstances.
The lawyer will have to carefully consider the strengths and weaknesses in the police disclosure as well as taking into account a suspects account in response to the allegation(s).
From this point on the lawyer will then be in the best position to decide on an interview strategy and advising on the following: –
Providing a ‘no comment’ interview and exercising your legal right to remain silent.
The public’s perception is that this makes a suspect look guilty but as defence lawyers we would argue that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty which will ultimately be decided by the credibility and reliability of the evidence in the case.
In answering ‘No Comment’ it is a way of putting the prosecution to proof.
Your lawyer could advise to put forward a full account in interview advancing any defence should you seek to later rely on if the matter did go before to court.
Lastly it maybe decided between a suspect and lawyer that the best way to advance their account is through a ‘prepared written statement’.
The lawyer will usually read out this document after the police officer in interview has cautioned the suspect.
Following on from this written statement a suspect will usually be advised to answer ‘No Comment’ to questions thereafter.
This tactic is commonly used by defence lawyers in a way to not let the suspect open to intense cross-examination on the account provided and to also not leave them open to a number of questions that they are otherwise not prepared for.
It is also a useful tool in the case of a vulnerable person or a first time offender who is new to this process.