Our criminal law team can assist if you are arrested, charged or approached by the police to provide a statement regarding a criminal offence. We regularly appear in the Local and District Courts representing people on a range of matters including:
- Drink / drug driving
- Minor to serious driving offences
- Drug matters, possession, cultivation, dealing
- Domestic violence / Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVOs) and Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs)
- Arson, robbery, larceny, break and enter, theft, malicious damage
- Bail applications
Things to remember
Police officers have various powers to enable them to do their job. The manner in which a criminal matter and investigation proceed depends on a number of things such as the type of offence, the age of the person of interest and the surrounding circumstances. This is usually a very anxious time for all concerned and it is important to obtain legal advice early. Remember:
- A police officer must make it clear to an apprehended person that he or she is being arrested and advise the person why. You have the right to ask what offence you are being charged with.
- A valid arrest enables a suspect to be questioned and identified by police. However, unless a formal arrest is made a person is not obliged to accompany a police officer.
- Talk to a lawyer before making a statement to the police – in many cases, if you are arrested, you need not give any more information than your name and address.
- If a person is not under arrest, a police officer may conduct a search in certain circumstances. The police officer must provide his or her name, rank and tell you why the search is being conducted.
- You should comply with a police search request, but you need not consent to the request. If you do not consent, you should state this clearly and ask that your objection be noted.
A criminal record can have serious consequences, affect your career and job opportunities, potential scholarships and overseas travel. If you are involved in a criminal investigation or have been charged with an offence it is vital to obtain immediate legal advice to ensure your rights and interests are protected.