Q: Our son recently got into a fight at school and the head teacher called in the police. Now it seems the police are holding an investigation into the incident and they have asked us to accompany our son to the police station as they need to ask him a few questions about what happened. Would it be advisable for us to have a solicitor present?
A: Everyone who attends the police station to be questioned is entitled to free and independent legal advice so you should take advantage of that. You can either contact a solicitor beforehand to arrange a convenient time with the police to attend, or alternatively you can ask for someone to contact your solicitor when you get to the police station. If you do not have a solicitor then you may ask for the solicitor who is on duty that day to attend. All solicitors on the duty rota are local to the police station so if you request their attendance it should not delay matters.
Whichever solicitor attends, the police will tell them what they want to question your son about before he is interviewed. They will also tell the solicitor what, if any, evidence they have. The solicitor will then assess the evidence before advising both your son and yourself as to the best course of action.
During the interview the solicitor will be present to ensure that questioning is carried out in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. This governs what the police can and cannot do whilst your son is at the police station. This can be a very difficult time for a family and if you have any questions you should not hesitate to put them to your solicitor.