Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Sunday, 23 October 2016 13:14

Declining a Police Interview

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Declining a police interview

If you are suspected of being involved in a criminal offence in Queensland the Police may request that you participate in a record of interview or provide them with a statement. This article is for who have been asked by police to participate in an interview or give a statement and want to know should I talk to the police or should I give the police a statement?

 

The police want to talk to me about offence that has allegedly occurred

The police can request your full name, address, date of birth and identification however you are not required to take part in an interview or provide a statement.

It is an offence to provide incorrect personal details to the Police or to resist arrest. If you do either of these things when you are being arrested or charged, you may end up with more charges.  

You have every right to refuse to provide information to the police about an alleged offence. We urge all clients to not to take part in a record of interview until all facts and circumstances are known and you have had legal advice.

There is often little benefit to you sitting down for a police interview or providing a statement. Doing so often only benefits the Police. This is due to the fact that, as the saying goes, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.   

See our article on Police questioning and your right to silence in Queensland

 

Why do the police want me to give a statement?

The Police are likely to be looking into charging you when they request you to provide a statement or interview. You could accidently admit guilt or provide them with evidence they need in order to make the decision to proceed with charging you.

The Police may even try and trick you into providing information. If you have admitted to a crime or certain facts it restricts our ability to defend you at our full potential or negotiate with the prosecutor in regards to the charges.

It should be noted that the Police may be recording you with recording devices when you are talking to them. This could be at the Police Station, roadside or at your residence. Further, when you are dealing with the Police you should try to remain as calm as possible. Getting angry and acting uncooperatively will be recorded in your charge documents and could be read out by the Police Prosecutions, in Court to the Magistrate if you are charged. Obviously, this is not going to assist you in obtaining the best result possible. Always act as polite and respectable as possible when dealing with the Police. If you are difficult or abusive the process will be much longer and more painful for you.

 

I’ve done nothing wrong so I should talk to the police otherwise I look guilty

Even when you do not believe you have done anything wrong and have nothing to hide you should still decline the police requests for an interview until you have obtained legal advice. Things can get misconstrued in an interview and by talking to the police it may expand their investigation.

Your words may be twisted, used against you and influence the Police’s decision to charge you. Once a statement or record of interview has been done it cannot be retracted.  Please also remember that there is no such thing as an ‘off the record’ discussion with the Police.

The Police will know that anyone who has sought legal advice will likely decline an interview.  The best way to deal with any legal charge is to obtain a Lawyer and seek assistance as soon as you are charged.

 

But why don’t I just explain what happened they might not charge me if I talk to them?

The disadvantages of giving a statement might include:

  • It may be that the police will be unable to prove their case against you without some facts being conceded at the interview. There is a very real risk that by participating in an interview with the investigating police you will be providing evidence to the prosecution that they may otherwise not be able to get.

  • Admissions to things that seem small or insignificant to you such as where you stayed on a particular night, whether you visited a particular place or whether you were with a particular person all assist the police to further their inquiries in building a case against you where there may not otherwise be any evidence.

  • The police may "bluff" you into admissions or creating a false story which is later proved to be false.

  • You are likely to be in a stressed state, may not have had much sleep, may be intoxicated or hung-over and generally not in a good state to participate in an interview with police.

Remember it is always possible to give an oral or written statement on another day.

 

What should I do if the police want me to give an interview?

First it critical to tell the police you want to talk to a lawyer first.

Otherwise, you should politely but firmly state you will not be giving any information or a statement.

 

Summary of why you should decline a police interview

  1. Preservation of Rights: Providing a statement may waive certain rights

  2. Possibility of Self-Incrimination: Speaking to the police without legal representation can potentially lead to unintentional self-incrimination or saying something that may be used against you later.

  3. Misinterpretation or Miscommunication: Your words may be taken out of context or misinterpreted, leading to a misunderstanding of your intended meaning.

  4. Lack of Legal Expertise: Most people are not legal experts and may not fully understand the legal implications of their statements, potentially providing information that is not in their best interest.

  5. Pressure or Coercion: In some situations, individuals may feel pressured or coerced by police to provide a statement, which can lead to inaccurate or misleading information.

  6. Incomplete Information: You may not have all the necessary information to provide an accurate statement, potentially leading to inaccuracies or inconsistencies.

  7. Time to Gather Information: It may be beneficial to take some time to consult with an lawyer or gather all relevant information before providing a statement.

  8. Avoiding Unintended Consequences: Making a statement without proper legal advice may lead to unintended consequences that could impact your case or legal standing.

  9. Protection of Privacy: Providing a statement may divulge personal information or details that you would prefer to keep private.

  10. Potential for Future Legal Proceedings: Anything you say to the police may be used in court, potentially affecting your defence strategy down the line.

  11. Emotional State: In moments of stress, fear, or anxiety, it may be difficult to think clearly and provide an accurate statement.

 

So should I talk to the police?

No you should not talk to the police unless you have had legal advice tot take part in a police interview and 99 times out a 100 a lawyer will tell you not to give the police a statement.  Remember you have a right to silence and you should use it.

 

How do I get more information or engage you to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you

  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm

  3. Click here to select a time for us to have a free 15 minute telephone conference with you

  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  5. Send us a message on Facebook Messenger

  6. Click the help button at the bottom right and leave us a message

We are a no pressure law firm, we are happy to provide free initial information to assist you. If you want to engage us then great, we will give you a fixed price for our services so you will know with certainty what we will cost. All the money goes into a trust account monitored by the Queensland Law Society and cannot be taken out without your permission.

If you don’t engage us that fine too, at least you will have more information on the charge and its consequences.

 

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Disclaimer: This article is written for guidance only and does not take into account your individual circumstances and is not intended to replace independent legal advice.

Read 4139 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 September 2023 15:01
Belinda Smyth

Belinda is the client services manager at Clarity Law.  She has been working in law firms for more than 23 years and has worked at Clarity Law since 2010.