Most people consider themselves to be upright and outstanding individuals, contributory members of Australian society. Yet sometimes the unexpected and inexplicable can happen, and they may be arrested by an officer of the law on suspicion of having committed an offence. For many, this can be overwhelming, especially if they maintain their innocence. If this is you, don''t panic, and remember that you have specific rights under the legal system here. What do you need to remember?
Your Key Rights
The arresting officer is required to tell you why you're being arrested at the specific moment, and you will have the right to more information when you get to the relevant police station. Here, a senior officer must outline the nature of the charge levied and notify you that you have specific rights.
One of these, of course, is the right to say nothing at all and remain silent, but another is your inalienable right to call in your solicitor to help you. Exercise this right immediately and get your lawyer to come to the police station to provide you with advice right away. If you want, you can insist that they be by your side at every other stage.
Right to Communicate
You are also allowed to get in touch with a friend or family to tell them what's going on. Occasionally, the police may not openly inform you of this right, as sometimes they suspect that this is an opportunity to "warn" others of an ongoing investigation.
Can You Challenge an Arrest?
Most police officers will respect your rights in this situation and will ensure that you are informed of them. However, sometimes it gets a bit hectic, other issues come into the equation and they may forget. If you haven't been properly informed of the charges against you or been specifically told of your rights, then it may be possible to issue a challenge against an arrest or to take further action.
Always Listen to Your Lawyer
By all means, exercise your right to say nothing when questioned by any officer at a police station, at least until your adviser has arrived. At this point, however, you should listen to what your solicitor will tell you, as an "unreasonable" silence can be detrimental to your case (in the eyes of a judge) in certain circumstances. If you do bring up a key fact in your defence that you refused to mention in an investigation, this might be a problem. This is why it's always crucial to get a lawyer on your side as soon as possible.Share