There are a number of tactics implemented by the police during investigations which appear run of the mill to the person targeted.

It is important that people understand their rights when engaging with the police.

Frequently people hold a number of misconceptions about their obligation to be responsive during police enquiries of them.  Your right to silence means exactly that – you do not have to answer any questions.

There are in fact very limited scenarios where a member of the public must answer questions posed by the police.

In many, but certainly not all circumstances, if you are directed to do so by a police officer you must provide your full name and current residential address.  If you are uncertain ask the police if you are obliged to give your name and address and ask that they quote the relevant law.  If police say you are obliged then it is best to give them the answers to only those questions.  You are able to record your interaction with the police on a recording device, for example on your iPhone.

If your motor vehicle has been involved in an incident the scope of questioning to which you must respond may be widened.  You should seek advice from a solicitor before you answer any questions or agree to meet with the police.

We have attended with clients during police raids of their homes and businesses.  The shock of finding yourself in that situation is often overwhelming.

Importantly the existence of a search warrant does not mean that you have to speak with the police or respond to their questions.  If the warrant is valid you are required to comply with the directions of the police whilst you are detained.  The search will then occur in your presence but you are not required to answer any of their questions.

You have the right to call a solicitor and you should exercise your right to do so immediately.  If you call a solicitor in this situation simply explain to them that the police are in attendance and are executing a search warrant.  The solicitor will then ask you for specific information and you should answer those questions without elaborating.  You will have an opportunity to speak with your solicitor in confidential circumstances during the police search if it decided between you and the solicitor that the solicitor should immediately attend the search.

It is fundamental that you understand that there is no such thing as an “off the record conversation”.  You cannot approach the police with a view to negotiating with them or discussing matters with an intention for those matters to not become part of the evidence building exercise that the police are tasked to achieve.

Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors offer a 24 hour, 7 days per week contact line. 

If you receive contact from the police call (07) 3034 0000 for urgent advice from a solicitor.