It is possible for you to request a legal aid solicitor to attend the police station, otherwise known as a “duty solicitor.” However, due to the constraints of legal aid, very often this will involve an unqualified person attending the police station to represent you. Whilst they will have police station qualifications enabling them to attend as a police station representative, they will not always be qualified solicitors.
In addition, legal aid lawyers do not get paid for meeting with you outside the police station unless you have been charged. This means that there will be no opportunity for you to meet with a solicitor to provide instructions and receive advice ahead of the police station attendance and which in our experience is a crucial part of our representation of you because often we will advise that a pre-prepared statement should be prepared by us on your behalf.
Meeting a solicitor or police station representative for the first time at the police station can be a daunting experience. Police stations are usually sterile environments and at times, even hostile. Answering police questions is the beginning of any criminal investigation from the defendant’s perspective and it is essential this is taken seriously and that the best legal representation is available. Whatever is said or done at the police station is almost always evidence the police will use in court and if it is not favourable to a defendant it could prejudice his/her case in the eyes of any court and or jury.
Always remember: Failure to prepare is preparing to fail...