After Being Charged or Arrested
Being charged or arrested is an intimidating experience and by its very nature is a very serious situation.
In New South Wales the Police have powers to do various things including arresting, searching and charging individuals with a myriad of offences. Being placed under arrest can be a traumatic experience for most people, especially for those that have no previous experience with Police. However, an individual retains various rights which exist to form a balance between individual liberty and the general wellbeing and safety of the public.
A Police Officer can arrest you if, for example:
- A Warrant for your arrest has been issued by a Court
- The Police Officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are about to commit a crime, are committing a crime or have recently committed a crime
- In the event you have committed or are about to commit a breach of the peace
- You are suspected of being involved in smuggling or the import or export of prohibited goods
When being arrested the arresting Officer should clearly explain that you are under arrest, tell you why you are being arrested and touch you to confirm you are under arrest unless you submit by going with the Police Officer. A Police Officer may use as much force as is necessary to arrest you and may handcuff you if you attempt to escape or if the Officer considers it necessary. It is also an offence to resist arrest. It is important to remember that Police may arrest you if they reasonably believe you have committed an offence. You may be completely innocent. However, if you resist arrest, you are committing an offence in itself and even if the Police do not charge you with any other offence may charge you with resisting arrest.
Generally, after arrested a Police Officer will conduct a search which you must submit too. If the Police arrest an individual they are entitled to search that individual without a warrant.
An arrested person will generally be taken to the nearest Police Station. It is appropriate to politely insist that you be allowed to contact your Lawyer and have them present whilst you are being questioned. There is no legal aid for Lawyers to attend Police Stations to be present during questioning and it is a cost the person under arrest must bear. After being arrested the Police will take your fingerprints and photographs of you for the purpose of identification. If you are subsequently acquitted or the charges against you are dropped, you may apply to have the photographs and fingerprints destroyed.
At Bateman Battersby Lawyers Penrith we can help you when you are arrested and subsequently charged with an offence. You should contact one of our experienced Lawyers as soon as you are arrested and he or she will:
- advise you of your rights
- explain the alternatives
- make a bail application for you AND if necessary
- represent you in Court.