We would hope that you never have to go through the process of arrest or police interrogation, but unfortunately, this is an experience that some may find themselves in. If you do have a run-in with law enforcement officers in Melbourne or elsewhere in Victoria, it’s important to know your legal rights when dealing with them.
Lots of people aren’t aware of the process of arrest in Australia, and therefore end up subjected to maltreatment, injustice or inconvenience simply because they didn’t know how to stand up for themselves.
Now, the arrest process is never easy nor pleasant, but keeping these facts in mind can help you handle any police intervention more smoothly and safely.
Here’s what you should know if you face search, arrest or interrogation in Melbourne:
- If police ask to search you, you can refuse unless they have a legal search warrant OR reasonable suspicion that you are in possession of drugs, weapons or other illicit goods
- Police cannot arrest you unless they already have a warrant or if they think you’ve committed a crime, or if they catch you in the act of committing one.
- If you are arrested, police should tell you what you are being arrested for. If they don’t tell you, ask.
- If you are not under arrest, police cannot force you to go to the police station or anywhere else with them.
- You have the right to remain silent once arrested. The police will typically require you to state your name and address, but other than that, you do not have to answer any questions they ask of you.
- Once arrested, you have the right to make two phone calls– One to a friend or family member and another to your lawyer.
- Your police have legal power to take your property when in custody. They must document all goods collected and return them once you are released (unless these items are pieces of evidence and/or confiscated for legality reasons).
- If you are Indigenous, let the police know, as their process for dealing with Aboriginal Australians is different. If you are taken into police custody, this must be reported to the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) straight away.
For those who have found themselves or their loved ones convicted of a criminal offence in Australia, you’ve come to the right spot. The experienced team at Mirabella’s Solicitors can help you achieve the best results possible from your case.
We are well versed in the law within Victoria and greater Australia and know how to best handle a range of legal scenarios. Regardless of your situation, we will greet it with support to free you from custody, limit the legal ramifications of your offence and find you justice.
For more information on how to best deal with your legal case, contact Mirabella’s Solicitors today on 9898 3100.