Arrest Advice




Arrest – Right to silence
When in doubt, do not say or sign anything before speaking with a lawyer. Remember the caution: “anything you say or do can and will be used in evidence against you”. The police will attempt to obtain your version of events and a statement.
Who can arrest me and why?
A member of the police force can arrest you if a written authority (warrant) for your arrest has been issued, or a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are about to, or in the process of, or have committed a crime
Do I have to attend a police interview if requested?
Police can request you accompany them to a police station for questioning but you are not obliged to go unless you have been arrested. You should always contact a lawyer before participating in a police interview.
How should police arrest me?
The arresting officer should:
Tell you that you are under arrest
Tell you what you are being arrested for
The arresting officer may use as much force as necessary to arrest you and after arrest the officer may handcuff you if you attempt to escape or if considered necessary to prevent an escape.
It is an offence to resist arrest.
Do I have to submit to a search?
Police have the right to search you without a warrant. This is immediately after arresting you, and not otherwise unless you consent.
Do I have to answer police questions?
Generally you have the right to silence, but if the investigation concerns a motor vehicle or you have witnessed a serious crime you are required to give your name, address and particulars of the incident to the police.
The police may want to question you in an Electronically Recorded Interview of a Suspected Person or ERISP
You have a right to silence – you can refuse to say anything
You have the right to have a lawyer present while you are being questioned
Do not sign any document other than a bail form
Do I have to be fingerprinted or photographed?
Police may take your fingerprints and photograph for identification purposes.
How long do I have to stay in custody?
Following an arrest, the police may detain you for up to four hours.
An application can be made by the police to allow an extension of up to a further eight hours after which you must either be charged or released.
The time period does not include time spent transporting you to the police station, refreshments and bathroom breaks or communicating with your lawyer.
What are my rights in police custody?
You have the right to:
Be cautioned and told your rights as soon as you arrive at the police station
Contact your lawyer
Have your lawyer with you while you are being questioned
Access an interpreter
Contact a friend, relative or guardian
Medical attention, refreshments and bathroom facilities
When can police enter and search my premises?
If the occupier consents
If there is a search warrant
If they enter to arrest someone (Note: they can only search the arrested person and their belongings)
If they suspect terrorist-related activities