For my non-police readers, solicitors are the guys and gals who show up at the police station to thwart the investigation before it gets as far as court. They are called when the arrested person requests it and their first actions are:
1. Read the custody record.
2. Meet with the police officer in the case (Disclosure).
3. Meet with the "client" (Prisoner).
They have to then advise their client what the best course of action is for the interview. He or she can either:
- Tell the truth.
- Make up a lie.
- Say "No Comment".
If the client chooses to say "No Comment" and later come up with something in court such as, "He hit me first", the court might hold it against them that they didn't tell the police that in the first place. I say "might", because I have yet to see this happen.
The solicitor has to advise his or her client in their "best interest", which means the lowest possible sentence, charge, or get them off completely. Here is a handy guide for budding solicitors to take with them to the police station.
You can also advise "No Comment" if:
- The custody record shows the client has not slept for 8 hrs.
- The custody record shows the client has not eaten.
- The custody record shows a breach of PACE.
This is the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and if the police have breached it, you have hit the jackpot. No matter how heinous a crime your client has committed, you will be able to get them off at court, therefore do not advise them to do anything as stupid as admitting the offence.
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