If you are a suspect for a sexual offence, police will want to get you to take part in an interview. An interview is where the police will tell you about the sexual allegation and ask you several questions. You may think there could be no harm in going for an interview and telling police your side of the story, the truth. When you are charged with a sexual offence, the truth doesn’t matter. What matters is what the prosecution can prove against you beyond reasonable doubt. Police use interviews with suspects to gather evidence- evidence to use against the suspect. You can be convicted of a sexual offence based on your interview, and nothing more.
What to do if the police contact you to take part in an interview
If the police contact you to take part in an interview for a sexual offence contact a criminal lawyer straight away. But, if I contact a criminal lawyer, won’t the police think I have something to hide and I am guilty? The answer is “no”. Contacting lawyers early on can protect you and ensure you know your rights. Time and time again, people contact our office wishing they had spoken to us before they spoke to the police. Don’t make the same mistake.
Will taking part in an interview with police help me?
Taking part in an interview with police will help you if you plead guilty to a sexual offence. The law says people who help police in the investigation of a criminal offence should get some credit. This credit is to encourage people to co-operate with the police. No-one knows how much weight a court gives to a person at their sentence for taking part in an interview.
Can You refuse to take part in a police interview?
The law in Queensland is you do not have to take part in an interview with police. The law says you may remain silent. You should exercise this right.
The law says if police ask you questions about an indictable offence you DO NOT have to say anything. In some situations police will try to get you to agree to hear what they have to say. Do not fall for this trap. Some clients fall for this and then speak only to their own detriment. Everything you say to police will be recorded, and you can bet your bottom dollar they will use it against you if they can.
If I do not take part in an interview with police can this be used against me?
The law in Queensland says if you refuse to participate in an interview with police this cannot be used against you. What this means is if you go to trial, the prosecution cannot say to the jury police gave you the chance to speak to them and you refused.
7 Risks Of Taking Part In An Interview With Police And Why You Shouldn’t
Taking part in an interview with police is fraught with danger. We discuss below the 7 key things you must know before agreeing to speak to police.
1. Any admissions you make against your own interest can be used against you. This means if you speak to police and say something to your detriment, they can rely on it to prosecute you. In some situations, people have been convicted of criminal offences because of what they said to police and nothing else. Taking part in an interview with police only makes their job easier.
2. You will have no idea what the police will ask you during the interview.
3. You will have no idea how you will answer the questions police ask you. When answering questions, you will be on the spot. You will have no time to prepare your answers. When under pressure you may say something inadvertently harming your case without realising it. If this is your first contact with police you will be nervous and anxious. During the interview, you will think “I just want to get out of here”. Because of this you may answer questions quickly, rather than taking your time to think about your answer. This can and does lead to mistakes. In our experience, persons who participate in interviews with police usually regret it. They walk away wishing they never spoke to the police. Once you say something to police, it is impossible to take it back. If you say something harming your case, you can bet the prosecution will use it against you. For example, playing your interview to the jury.
4. Things you say during your interview could be misinterpreted later by others (such as a jury). What you say could be misconstrued by the prosecution and the jury to your detriment. Think about your own life experiences when you speak to people and how often simple things get misconstrued. Once you have said something to police during an interview you will be hard pressed to convince a jury it meant something different.
5. When you take part in the interview you will have no idea if the police has any evidence against you. When we say evidence, we mean evidence they can rely on in court. The court may not allow the police to use all the evidence located by them during their investigation. Some evidence is ruled inadmissible by the court or deemed by the law to be inadmissible. At the time you take part in an interview with police you will not know any of this.
6. Police often interview with suspects early on before they have investigated the matter fully. This means police will often not know what evidence is available to them to use, if any evidence at all. Police may tell you they have evidence proving you committed the offence, but you will not have examined it for yourself. For example, police may say they have CCTV showing you committing the offence or doing something. But, when you watch the CCTV footage, it may be of such poor quality you cannot make out anyone. You may not believe such things happen, but they do.
7. You may tell police things they are unaware of which helps them to prosecute you. Remember, the onus is on the prosecution to prove their case against you, not the other way around.
Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group- The Sexual Offence Experts
If police charge you with a sexual offence, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with a criminal defence lawyer. But, not any criminal lawyer. You want a criminal lawyer whose primary practice is sexual offences. At the Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group we focus on crimes involving sex, drugs and, no, not rock and roll, but fraud.
If you want the best result, you need the best Brisbane criminal lawyers. Contact the Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group today for confidential expert advice. We represent clients throughout South-East Queensland. No matter where your criminal charge is, our sex crime lawyers can help you.