Arrest Rights

When Can I Be Arrested?

Police have the right to arrest anybody without a warrant if that person:

  • Has committed an offence;
  • Is suspected of committing an offence; or
  • Is suspected of being about to commit an offence

Police do not need a warrant to arrest you.

How Do I Know If I Am Arrested?

The police must make it clear to you by words or by actions that you are under arrest.

If you are unsure, ask the police officer if you are under arrest.

Police may use as much force as is reasonably necessary to arrest a person including using handcuffs or restraints.

Remember, you do not need to go with police unless you are under arrest.

What Rights Do I Have If I Am Arrested?

  • You have the right to refrain from answering any questions.
  • You have the right to make one phone call in the presence of a police officer to a friend or relative to inform of your whereabouts.
  • Police have the right to decline to permit you speak to a nominated friend or relative if the officer has reasonable cause to suspect that communication between the person in custody and that particular person would result in an accomplice taking steps to avoid apprehension or would prompt the destruction or fabrication of evidence.
  • You have the right to have a solicitor, relative or friend (in the case of a minor that relative or friend must be an adult) present when answering questions if you are arrested on the suspicion of committing an offence.
  • You have the right to an interpreter.

The Police will probably want to ask you a lot of questions, but you should tell them that you want to remain silent. Give them only your name and address.

What Am I Obliged To Do If I Am Arrested?

  • You must provide the police with your name and address. It is an offence to refrain from providing these details or providing false details to police. If the officer has reason to suspect you have provided false details they can require you to produce some form of identification.
  • When asked questions about the identity of an owner of a vehicle you must provide the police with the personal details of the owner of the vehicle.
  • You must not resist arrest. Even if you are not guilty you can be charged separately with resisting arrest.

Police or a registered medical practitioner have the right to conduct a search of your person. They may use such force as is reasonably necessary to conduct the search.