Lawyers often tell you to say no comment?

The phrase “no comment” has no magical properties. It’s just a way for a suspect to show that they’re not willing to answer police questions when interviewed. But, contrarily, it also permits the police to ask questions and the interview to move along quickly. Another option is to remain silent for the interview length, but that will only worsen things.

Is answering No Comment still advisable?

The decision to answer police questions or give no comment responses during a police interview can be challenging. There are various factors to put into consideration. Since the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994, many more suspects have been encouraged to respond during police interrogation.

This Act empowers Magistrates or a jury to adverse inference from a no comment interview in certain circumstances. There are four requirements, including an accused omitting to communicate information used in their defense and if it was reasonable for the accused to have mentioned this fact in an interview or on charge.

Legal Representative and the Use of No Comment

Before refusing to answer questions in a police interview, it is critical to acquire legal advice from a specialist solicitor or an accredited police station agent. The majority of legal counsels are typically unaffiliated with the police. As a result, any advice suggesting you say nothing in response to police questions is in your best interests.

Any legal advice you get from your attorney is confidential and protected by legal privilege. Therefore, without your permission, the instructions you pose to your lawyer cannot be disclosed.

Your police station representative will continuously record your instructions. Even if you respond with “no comment,” they can testify in court if necessary to establish that you haven’t made up a defense once you’ve been charged and papers have been served.

With a lawyer, you have the chance to have a private discussion with your attorney regarding the evidence. That way, they’ll be able to accept your instructions and provide you with advice in secret. But, unfortunately, the police may have decided not to provide essential private facilities. That could indicate that a comprehensive discussion of the allegations is impossible and that a no-comment interview is recommended.

Your police station solicitor will be aware of any variables that may influence whether or not you should answer questions while in police custody, such as your age, mental vulnerability, a hearing or speaking challenge, poor English language command, severe nervous condition, or another ailment.

What if I am found guilty of the charges?

It’s possible that even if you’re guilty of the crime, the authorities don’t have enough evidence to prove your guilt or to charge you to court without your admission. There may be issues about the police’s amount of evidence disclosure, indicating that there isn’t enough evidence to prosecute you. Because a suspect is assumed innocent until proven guilty, you have the right to refuse to answer questions.

Alternatively, it’s possible that the cops are unaware of the fundamental nature of your wrongdoing and that answering questions might make matters worse. But, again, this would be an excellent justification to say “no comment” in an interview with the police.

Since the caution only refers to inferences and not to the benefit of early admission, the Court of Appeal ruled that a no comment interview cannot lose the discount for an early guilty plea. However, your legal representative is expected to assist you in balancing these considerations with any other concerns you may have.

Suppose you admit to the crimes during the police interview. In that case, you will have the advantage of demonstrating remorse for your actions. The most eloquent display of guilt may be the most compelling evidence that it is natural. Genuine remorse can considerably lower the severity of any sentence you receive.

Alternatively, early admission may allow you to avoid prosecution and avoid going through the court system. A confession is usually required to receive a caution or a restorative justice disposition.

What if I have a legal defence to the accusation? Shouldn’t I inform the police?

If you are innocent of the charge, there are a variety of reasons why you can refuse to answer questions. Some which include;

  • You may know the genuine criminal, but you don’t want to reveal their identity.
  • Admissions to additional damaging or embarrassing actions may be part of your defense, but this is not prohibited by law.
  • The case is either too complicated or too old for a quick response.

Other elements that may be important include:

  • At the time of the interview, the state of your mental health such that you were receptive to suggestions or in a state of shock?
  • You could quickly become perplexed and make mistakes in your account.
  • There is a need to resort to material that isn’t to hand in a police interview to check an alibi.

In addition, you would be advised by a police station adviser on whether there is a definite cause for providing no comment in an interview or using a prepared statement instead to regulate how the police are informed about your defense.

You would also be informed whether there are likely concerns of admissibility at court about things like comments you made to the police upon arrest or any informal identification that would suggest you should use your right to silence with the advice of a legal counsel.

Always seek legal advice in police interview.

As you can see, various elements influence whether or not to answer questions in a police interview or to respond with no remark to any questions asked. Before you decide on what could lead to a conviction or cause problems in a future court case, you should seek legal advice.

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