Arrested? Here’s what you need to know if you ever find yourself being arrested…
STAY CALM – It may be easy for us to say but the first thing you need to do is stay calm. You will be told why you are to be arrested and your compliance will result in far better treatment from all officers dealing with your case.
DO NOT RESIST ARREST – This will always result in further charges of resisting arrest or assault on a police officer even if the offence you were originally arrested for goes nowhere.
DO NOT TALK – Save for confirming your identification DO NOT talk to officers about the allegation. It may be tempting to deny the offence but you will not know what evidence the police have.
ASK FOR A SOLICITOR – When you arrive at the custody unit you will have your rights and entitlements read to you by a custody sergeant. One of those rights is a solicitor. When asked whether you would like a solicitor SAY YES! It is free of charge regardless of income. If you request us at this stage we will be notified immediately and can be at the police station within minutes.
One huge advantage of having a solicitor is that we would be provided with disclosure from the police before your interview. We would establish why you were arrested, what evidence the police have and what options are available to you. Remember, the police may not tell you that they have no evidence against you. If you have a solicitor we would establish this before interview.
Another advantage of instructing a solicitor is that you have someone looking after your interests in interview. Police officers often ask inappropriate questions in interview that have nothing to do with the offence for which you were arrested. A solicitor will intervene to prevent these questions being asked of you.
Imagine you were arrested for possessing a small quantity of cannabis that is clearly for personal use. You did not ask for a solicitor. During interview you are asked “so, what if your mate asked you for a smoke?”. You tell the officer that you probably would have let your friend smoke it with you. All of a sudden you are facing a charge of possessing cannabis with intent to supply! You would not have answered this question with a solicitor present in interview.
SPEAK TO US ON THE PHONE – You have the right to speak to a solicitor on the phone. If you do this, we can provide you with information and confirm when you will be interviewed. We have solicitors on call 24 hours a day.
ITS FREE – Anyone under arrest is entitled to representation free of charge regardless of your means.
IF PLACED IN A CELL – Don’t panic, don’t shout or bang on the cell door. You will not endear yourself to the custody staff by doing these things. They are likely to pay you less attention which will delay your interview.
WE WILL NOT DELAY YOUR STAY IN CUSTODY – You may be told by officers that requesting a solicitor will mean “placing you in a cell” or delaying your release in some way. Remember that the police do not want you to have a solicitor. The earlier we are advised that you are in custody the earlier we can attend. Therefore make the request for a solicitor at the custody desk and ask to speak to us immediately.