There is a simple answer to this question. DO NOT answer questions in an interview with the police.
A police interview is something the police do as part of their efforts to collect as much evidence as they can to use against you. If you answer questions in an interview, it is highly likely you will provide them with evidence that they will use.
Our legal system provides a very highly protected right to not answer questions in a police interview. A Court can never imply guilt or evasiveness where someone has not answered questions in a police interview. In fact, if you do not answer questions in a police interview, it cannot be used as evidence because it contains nothing of relevance. Something can only be used as evidence in Court if it is relevant to the proceedings. A police interview where someone says nothing is not relevant and cannot be used in Court!
If you are charged by the police and you go to your lawyer and tell them you did not answer questions in your police interview, they will be very relieved. This is because it will allow your lawyer to plan your defence without having to worry about things you might have said in the police interview.
Before the police interview you, they will usually only tell you what they are going to interview you about in very vague terms. They will not give you any details as they want to be able to use the element of surprise in the police interview. This is most likely because they think it makes it more likely that you will give them answers they can use as evidence against you because you have not had time to think about the things they are asking you about properly! Also, people can make mistakes and get confused in a police interview: it can be very stressful. The last thing you want is to have said something by mistake and then have the police try to use that against you in Court.
It is important to remember that a police interview is for the benefit of the police and not you. Sometimes the police will say things like; “it is your only chance to tell your side of the story” or “we haven’t decided if we are going to charge you yet or not, and if you say nothing we will have to charge you”. The truth is, in 99% of cases these statements are simply untrue. If they are going to charge you they will charge you regardless of whether you answer their questions or not. And it is NOT your only chance to tell your side of the story. You will have many chances to do that after you have spoken to a good criminal lawyer about your case.
Before any interview with the police, they will give you your rights. This includes the chance to speak to a lawyer before the interview. It is a really good idea to do this as that lawyer can give you good advice on your options. Even if you don’t have a lawyer you use, the police will find a lawyer to speak to you before an interview.
Finally, if you choose to not answer questions in an interview, it is important to answer no questions. To answer some questions but not others can cause problems later on when you go to Court if you intend to plead not guilty.
If you are ever going to go in for a police interview, make sure you speak to a good criminal lawyer before you go. This will make sure you look after YOUR legal interests in the best way possible.
You can call Steve Preece, who is a highly experienced and skilled criminal lawyer in Perth. He will make sure you go into any interview properly prepared. Call Steve on 0415 154 005.