Being arrested by police for a criminal offence in Queensland can be a stressful time for you. When being confronted by police being accused of a criminal offence, you can often make poor decisions. If you face this situation, it is critical you understand your rights. In this article, we answer many common questions associated with being arrested by police.
If you have any questions, contact our Criminal Lawyers either by phone on (07) 3153 6215 or use a contact form or email.
WHEN CAN POLICE OFFICERS ARREST ME?
There are limited circumstances when a police officer can arrest you for an offence in Queensland.
Section 365 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act sets out when police can arrest adult persons without a warrant.
The police officer must suspect you committed an offence or are committing an offence. It must also be necessary to do one or more of the following:
(a) to prevent you continuing the commission of the offence or another offence;
(b) to make inquiries to establish your identity;
(c) to ensure you appear before a court;
(d) to obtain or preserve evidence relating to the offence;
(e) to prevent the harassment of, or interference with, a person who may be required to give evidence relating to the offence;
(f) to prevent the fabrication of evidence;
(g) to preserve the safety or welfare of any person, including yourself;
(h) to prevent you fleeing from a police officer or the location of an offence;
(i) because the offence is a serious assault or obstruct police or contravening a direction given by a police officer;
(j) because the offence is an offence against the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012;
(k) because of the nature and seriousness of the offence;
(l) because the offence is an offence against the Corrective Services Act 2006.
Police can also arrest you if they reasonably suspect you have committed an indictable offence and they are going to question you about the offence or investigate it.
If a police officer does not arrest you, you do not have go to anywhere with them, or answer any questions.
After police arrest you, they must tell you they have placed you under arrest and the nature of the offence you committed. Under no circumstances should you attempt to resist being arrested by police because you could end up being charged with additional charges. Remain calm and polite during your interactions with the police.
If you need help contact our Brisbane Criminal Lawyers as soon as possible to make sure your rights and interests are protected.
WHAT INFORMATION DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE?
Unlike what you may see on American television shows, there are no “Miranda Rights” in Australia. Each State and Territory has its own set of laws regarding rights to be given to an accused when arrested.
When you are arrested in Queensland, police should give you the right to remain silent. They will usually say something like
“Before I ask you any questions I must tell you that you have the right to remain silent. This means you do not have to say anything, answer any question or make any statement unless you wish to do so. However, if you do say something or make a statement, it may later be used as evidence. Do you understand?’
This means you can refuse to answer any questions police ask you and refuse to participate in a record of interview with them. However, there are some questions you must answer, or you could be breaking the law. If you do not want to answer a question a way you can do this is by saying “No comment”. Your refusal to answer police questions cannot subsequently be used against you to infer you are guilty of anything.
If you are arrested, the police has the power to require you to provide your correct name and address. If you refuse to answer police or give them a false name or address this can lead to further criminal charges.
Police will also likely conduct a pat down search of your body to ensure you do not have anything on you that you shouldn’t. Police can take what they call your “identifying particulars”, which includes your:
(a) palm prints;
(f) a photograph of your identifying features (e.g. scars, tattoos);
(g) a measurement of any part of your body, other than your genital or anal area, buttocks or, for a female, breasts.
If police seize any property from you, they should give you a Field Property Receipt detailing the property.
WHAT CAN I REQUEST?
Before police question you about an indictable criminal offence you have the right to contact a friend, relative or lawyer. If you tell a police officer you want to speak to any of these people, they must provide you facilities to speak to the person. It is important you make sure the police do not overhear your conversation. You should endeavour to contact persons who you can trust and rely upon.
If English is not your first language and you have difficulty with the language you can ask the police to get you an interpreter. You will not be charged for the use of an interpreter. It is important you understand what is happening and be able to say what you want.
HOW LONG CAN I BE DETAINED AFTER I AM ARRESTED?
If police arrest you they can detain you for a reasonable time to investigate, or question you about the offence. Section 403 of the Police Powers Responsibilities Act says the police cannot detain you for more than 8 hours unless they get approval from a Magistrate. The law also says police cannot question you for more than 4 hours in the 8 hours.
GET PROPER LEGAL ADVICE
Get legal advice from an experienced Brisbane Criminal Lawyer straightaway. Criminal Law is a complex area of law and requires the help of a criminal lawyer. An experienced criminal lawyer will take the stress of the process away from you and help guide you to achieve you the best possible outcome. Don’t think you need to fight a criminal offence on your own.The Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group are here to help! Our lawyers are here to answer questions and explain the process and your options to you.
Expert Brisbane Criminal Lawyers
Need Legal Advice? Contact Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group Brisbane CBD office via phone on (07) 3153 6215 or by the contact form below for expert criminal law advice.