What to do if you get arrested

An arrest by police is something most people only see in movie and television. It’s certainly not something anyone expects to happen to them.

In the event that you do get arrested by police it’s understandable that you feel scared, intimidated and generally overwhelmed by what’s happening. A lot of people will react differently to being arrested and your behaviour during this time can have consequences down the road.

What to do if you get arrested
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Getting arrested

The best thing to do once the police tell you that you’re under arrest is to remain calm and cooperative. Even if you genuinely feel that you are being wrongfully arrested it will not help your case if you struggle with police or attempt to flee.

The old phrase “innocent people don’t run” is very much true in the eyes of police. This is why it’s crucial to fully cooperate with police when you’re being arrested.

While you need to be physically cooperative with police, you do not have to comply with everything they ask you. For example, you do not need to answer any questions relating to the alleged crime without first consulting with your lawyer.

However, you will need to answer basic questions from police. These questions include your name, living address or if you require any medication.

When you are taken to the police station you will need to wait inside of a small room. The police might leave you in there with the door locked and you should try to remain calm during this time.

Your legal rights

As stated earlier, you have the right to consult with a lawyer before you answer any further police questions. A lawyer is a legal expert who can advise you on the best course of action in a given situation.

The right to a lawyer is one of the most basic, unalienable rights that all Australians have and should always be used. You should always make sure to ask police to ring a lawyer for you.

The police may ask you if you want to conduct an electronically recorded interview. Always politely refuse this request and insist on speaking with your lawyer.

The most important thing to remember is that you have the right to refuse answering police questions. Some police officers may try to persuade you into speaking to them but you should remain vigilant and silent.

Bail

What to do if you get arrested
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Bail is the means by which you leave police custody based on certain conditions. If the police charge you with a crime then you will need to attend court at a later point.

If the police refuse your bail then your lawyer can make a bail application to the court. Courts will be able to approve bail in circumstances where the police refused.

Miranda Burton Author

Miranda has a special interest in all law related areas and enjoys breaking down complicated legal matters into easy-to-understand writing.