In Police Custody?
Call Williams’ 24 Hour Legal Advice Service
How you act, and the decisions you make in the hours leading up to and following your arrest can have drastic implications for your matter if/when it reaches the Courts.
Given the above, it is essential that you obtain legal advice as soon as possible even if you have not been formally charged with an offence. Williams Barristers and Solicitors operate a 24 hr legal advice service line to assist clients in custody.
The following are some important tips to keep in mind if you are unable to contact your criminal lawyer:
You are not required to answer any questions
You have the right to remain silent!
You do not have to answer any questions put to you by Police officers. The only information you are legally required to provide is your name and address.
Exceptions to the above rule are if you are traveling in a motor vehicle and are stopped by Police, you must advise Police of who owns the vehicle and their name and address. You are also required to provide Police with information as to who was the driver of a vehicle at any particular time.
You must provide your name and proof of age if you are in licensed premises and requested to do so by Police.
As a general rule you should not discuss the details of any allegations put to you by Police; however, you should remain polite at all times.
You are entitled to legal representation, Use it!
You have the right to legal advice at any time. People will often refuse the opportunity to contact a lawyer in the belief that their matter is not serious enough to require a lawyer. We strongly advise against this and it is very easy to contact our 24 hr legal advice service. Unless you are legally trained, you should not assume that a matter is insignificant as many offences will carry more severe consequences depending on your particular circumstances.
Speaking with a lawyer is not an admission of guilt and should not be given up in the hope that the Police will decide not to charge you.
You are entitled to an interpreter
You are entitled to an interpreter if English is your second language.
It is important that you do not sign or participate in any interview if you do not fully understand what you are signing or what is being said to you.
Police are legally required to provide you with an interpreter if there is any doubt as to your capacity to understand English.
If you are an Aboriginal Person you are entitled to speak to an Aboriginal Liaison Officer provided by the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement.
Liaison Officers are not legally trained; however, they are familiar with arrest procedures and can provide comfort and assistance if required.
The above is intended to be a brief overview of your rights when interacting with Police. The list is by no means exhaustive and we advise that you should always obtain legal advice before being interviewed by Police.