Legal advice for RMP interview in BFG - sensible recommendations?

#1
I have been asked who to use.

The only name I know is Gilbert Blade and Chris Hill who were recommended to me when I needed them (a long and unamusing story). But that was 15 years ago and in the UK.

Not sure who is best to use in BFG and I don't want to just say to my clerk, "oh go and flick through the back of Soldier magazine and pick the advert you best like the look of".

Its an interview under caution. So sensible comments only please as this is a pretty serious moment for this chap.
 
#4
Update: He has been offered the services of a Mr Lynch.
 

B_AND_T

MIA
Book Reviewer
#5
Go with RAF to start with, you can always bring the big guns in later.
 
#6
Why use RAF when you can go for a decent solicitor free of charge? Some RAF are good, most are predictable and appear more concerned with getting home on time.
 
#7
I am assuming that BFG is the same as UK as UK law applies to BFG pers, so the Div Legal Branch advice that I sought for one of my soldiers will apply. If you are being interviewed under caution the RMP/RAFP must by law offer you the opportunity to have a solicitor present. There will be a 'duty solicitor' on call. You might have to hang on until he arrives but the advice is always the same-say NOTHING other than to confirm your identity until you have the solicitor present, then follow his advice. If he tells you not to answer or says you should then do so. He is there to stop you dropping yourself (further) in the cess. If his advice turns out to be bollox then that will form the basis of any appeal.
 
#8
I always felt Roger Hayman-Start was a fair and decent chap who had an eminently sensible approach to interview. Despite what some may think RMP don't have any concerns about seeing lawyers present in interviews and you will always be given ample opportunity to have one attend. There isn't any tricks or bullsh*t associated and you may be asked before the interview so as to facilitate the efficiency of the inquiry (better for all concerned and again, not a trick!).

if you haven't chosen to get one you will definitely be asked on tape once the interview commences. If for whatever reason you don't choose to take one into the interview and change your mind at any time simply tell the interviewer clearly that you want to speak to a lawyer and / or have one present and the interview will be stopped and legal representation arranged.
 
#9
I always assumed, and wrongly, that the minute you got a lawyer involved, you were guilty as charged.

If your clerk is guilty of the offence then go for the big guns straight away, if innocent drag it out a little then get lawyers involved

What has he/she alledgely done?
 
#10
Bipolar I not sure I can agree with that one, sorry. I don't think it's in anyones interests to drag anything out. Nothing worse than having that sort of stuff hanging over your head for ages, guilty or innocent. Better to get in, clear it up and have it sorted one way or the other. The military criminal justice system is sadly slow enough (due to it's structure not generally due to the participants these days!) without trying to stall anything I think.
 
#11
agree or disagree all you like, if the person is guilty and drags it out with the use of lawyers, will only get the backs of people up, if the accused hold his hands up at the beginning and show remourse this will be reflected in the sentencing.

Now if the person is innocent, truth will prevail, he may not need any lawyer when the case is referred up the chain as it may not be in the service interest to do so. If the person who is innocent feels he is getting railroaded then go for a lawyer.

If the interview is under PACE ask for a copy of the tapes, as soon as possible, when confronted with the transcript of the interview you will be amazed how altered it will be, by the use of capitalisation such as NO and punctuation to change the context of your statement, and the good old unaudible

I did not do it or

I did (unaudible) do it

Also dependant on the alleged incident too, whether to get a laywer involved at the outset
 
#12
My advice would be to not speak until you are represented, you should have enough time to speak things through before interview, ensure you know what to say if your solicitor does step in, sometimes even a short period of silence can build pressure so some stock non committal phrases are useful as a release valve for you and shows to RMP that you are not just being awkward. As well as advising on points of law, when to speak and make sure you do not get further in to doo doo, they will also ensure that the RMP do not try anything fly. From your post it sounds like you may be in a tight spot, remember sometimes your solicitor may be all about damage limitation. No matter what you think and even though you are wearing the same uniform the RMP interview team are not your friend no matter how they come across (it's their job)
 
#13
No problem guess we will agree to disagree then. I don't believe it is in anyones interest to drag out at all. Especially if innocent! Having sat on both sides of the desk (One I hasten to add a lot more than the other!!) I know which I'd be choosing!

Either way before the case is presented to the chain of command the interview will definitely have taken place and the issue of whether it is in the service interest to proceed will not be decided till the case is presented to the unit and Service Prosecutors, well after the point where the suspect will need to choose if he gets legal representation...

The interviews will take place under Service Police Codes of Practice (the military equivalent of PACE) and the suspect will definitely be able to get a copy of the tapes and can request a transcript from memory (though I haven't got a copy of SPCOP in front of me to confirm!).
 
#15
agree or disagree all you like, if the person is guilty and drags it out with the use of lawyers, will only get the backs of people up, if the accused hold his hands up at the beginning and show remourse this will be reflected in the sentencing.

Now if the person is innocent, truth will prevail, he may not need any lawyer when the case is referred up the chain as it may not be in the service interest to do so. If the person who is innocent feels he is getting railroaded then go for a lawyer.

If the interview is under PACE ask for a copy of the tapes, as soon as possible, when confronted with the transcript of the interview you will be amazed how altered it will be, by the use of capitalisation such as NO and punctuation to change the context of your statement, and the good old unaudible

I did not do it or

I did (unaudible) do it

Also dependant on the alleged incident too, whether to get a laywer involved at the outset

You tell 'em, Perry!
 
#17
My advice would be to not speak until you are represented, you should have enough time to speak things through before interview, ensure you know what to say if your solicitor does step in, sometimes even a short period of silence can build pressure so some stock non committal phrases are useful as a release valve for you and shows to RMP that you are not just being awkward. As well as advising on points of law, when to speak and make sure you do not get further in to doo doo, they will also ensure that the RMP do not try anything fly. From your post it sounds like you may be in a tight spot, remember sometimes your solicitor may be all about damage limitation. No matter what you think and even though you are wearing the same uniform the RMP interview team are not your friend no matter how they come across (it's their job)
Odd, I thought the aim of the "interview team" was to establish the truth not stitch people up? If you're not guilty, I want to establish that and hopefully find who is. If you are guilty, then quite often it's best to hold your hands up from the start as it will potentially get 1/3 off your punishment.

As for legal, the first thing they will want from you is the truth. If you admit guilt to them they will like as not, tell you to admit to it. They certainly won't assist you in lying.

AS for BiPolar's comments, I would advise everyone-innocent or guilty-to always have a solicitor present. Using a solicitor gets no one's backs up - its your legal right and the Military Justice System is geared around it. No one infers guilt because you opt for a solicitor.

As for the transcript being altered-I very much doubt it. A full transcript will be just that. Punctuation will be limited (ie no exclamation marks) Capitalisation will be limited to normal usage (names, start of sentences-not to infer shouting). As for the good old inaudible-try listening to interview tapes-quite often due to accents etc they are inaudible. Transcripts are also proof read by supervisors in an attempt to eradicate inaudibles and ensure accuracy.

In my company tapes are done by an audio typist. Inaudible means just that-she can't understand what is said. It certainly isn't an attempt to fit someone up.

In the words of the Sweeney which you appear to have watched too much, "Bipolar, get your trousers on. You're nicked!"
 
#18
sorry fella a friend of mine got off of a CM because the transcript had been typed up by the Cpl not the audio typist. He was narked at doing it so to make sure the guy would go down the capitalisations were used and use on punctuation

u find out a lot of things when posted to the rmp
 
#19
So, you found out from a mate of yours or by being posted to RMP?

Typing your own transcript isn't that unusual. All RMP know a full transcript will go to CM and most likely the tapes will be listened to. God help an RMP where the transcript doesn't accurately reflect the facts

And trust me, the screw typing the transcript won't be enough to get your mate off. I doubt an inaccurate transcript would either, if the evidence suggests he was a guilty bastard. Your "mate" got off with it because the evidence wasn't there.
 
#20
sorry fella a friend of mine got off of a CM because the transcript had been typed up by the Cpl not the audio typist. He was narked at doing it so to make sure the guy would go down the capitalisations were used and use on punctuation

u find out a lot of things when posted to the rmp
Yeah BP this just isn't the case. Lots of NCOs type their own transcripts. Crappy job but needs must ie time constraints, audio typists not there etc.

The transcript isn't the evidence the tape is. The transcript is solely as aid. Like NM said, there is no fit up, we don't alter transcripts, generally the lads are too busy trying to get the job done.. Its really not like some random police tv show!! Most provost companies in Germany run over 100 jobs at a time (except JHQ). There is no conspiracy, mistakes sometimes, but no fit up...
 

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