Being Under Police Arrest – Your Rights

your rights under arrest

What Is An Arrest?

An arrest is where you are detained by Police and taken into their custody. The power of the Police to arrest a person is contained in the Law Enforcement (POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES) ACT 2002.


You can be taken into police arrest if an officer ‘reasonably’ suspects that you have committed or are about to commit an offence, or if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest. An arrest occurs when:


  • police take hold of you; or
  • police tell you that you are under arrest; or
  • you are arrested by written warrant.

After the above has occurred and you are formally arrested, it is an offence to physically resist Police.

Police do not generally have the power to stop and search a person if a person has not been arrested. However, the Police may stop you in situations where they have the specific legal authority to do so.


For instance, Police have powers to:


  • Search a person whom the Police suspect on reasonable grounds has a dangerous implement in his or her custody i.e. a knife, firearm or other dangerous weapons;
  • Stop persons and search motor vehicles where the Police suspect the person or vehicle is carrying anything stolen or anything that is unlawfully obtained;
  • Stop and search a person or car whom the Police reasonably suspect of having any prohibited plant or prohibited drug; and
  • Stop your car for the purposes of a random breath test.

A Police officer may use reasonable force to arrest a person:


  • In the act of committing, or immediately after having committed an offence;
  • If an officer, with reasonable cause, suspects a person of having committed or is about to commit an offence or crime;
  • If there is a warrant out for his/her arrest;
  • Please remember that the Police can’t take you anywhere unless you are placed under arrest, or you agree to go. If Police arrest you, they are obligated to tell you:
    • That you are under arrest;
    • The reason for your arrest;
    • The arresting officers’ name;
    • What station the Police are from.

The following are your rights if you are taken into police custody.


  • You have the right not to be detained for an unreasonable period without charge.
  • You have the right to speak to a legal representative;
  • You have the right to silence;
  • You have the right to a telephone call;
  • You have the right to receive medical assistance (if necessary);
  • You have the right to receive food and water;
  • You have the right to have access to bathroom facilities.
  • You have the right to an interpreter; and
  • You have the right not to answer any specific questions unless compelled by a specific law (such as offences regarding motor vehicles and the investigation of terrorist activities) to do so. Police must inform you that any answers you give may be used as evidence against you in court.

It is imperative you speak to a top criminal defence lawyer in Sydney if taken into police custody. There are numerous legal issues and rights you are entitled to obtain advise for.

If you are taken into police custody, you generally must submit to having your fingerprints, palm prints and photographs were taken. However, it would help if you spoke to a criminal defence lawyer prior to complying with this request.

After an arrest, the only details you should provide a police officer are your name, date of birth and residential address. You should not agree to provide a written statement or participate in a record of interview (also known as an ERISP).


If the Police still take you into a room and start the ERISP process, You should tell the police officer you do not want to answer any questions and to please terminate the interview.

In NSW, a person can be detained for a six-hour investigative period. This period can be lengthened by a warrant from the court for a further six hours.


After the investigative period is over, the person must either be:


  • Released unconditionally;
  • Released on police bail; or
  • Brought before the court as soon as practicable.

If the police have charged you or a loved one, you must attend court. Appearing in court for a criminal charge is usually daunting. Let us help you make the process easier. Here are 10 reasons to choose our team of criminal lawyers from Lyons Law Group;


Result-focused criminal lawyers 


Our team will work to achieve the best result for you in the shortest time possible. However, we do aim to provide quality over quantity service to you. Our criminal lawyers appear in all criminal and traffic matters, including trials, sentencing, bail applications, and apprehended violence orders. We are a result-focused firm of lawyers.


At Lyons Law, we do not make any unrealistic promises for results. You will be advised on the most realistic results achievable in your case, including acquittals of all charges against you. Nevertheless, you can be sure that our team will work extremely hard to achieve the best possible outcome for you.


Proven Track Record


Our experienced defence lawyers are passionate about representing their clients and achieving the best outcome. Lyons Law is a team of solicitors who are dedicated, and with our support staff, you can be confident of the highest quality of legal representation. We have an exceptional track record of results. We provide our outstanding client service at an affordable rate for our clients.


Fixed Fees


We always let our clients know how much their cases will cost from the beginning. This makes it easier for them to decide whether or not they want to proceed with the case. Not only do we offer fixed fees for many types of criminal cases and services, but also free first phone consultations. In addition, our firm offers fixed fees applicable to a wide range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, fraud, drug possession, assault, and AVOs.


Free First Conference


For all of those individuals who are going to court, we offer a free first 15-minute phone conference with one of our senior criminal defence lawyer. It is best you email our office all your relevant documents before a conference so criminal lawyers can provide the best advice within that time frame.


Highly experienced criminal defence lawyer


Lyons Law Group is a highly experienced team of criminal lawyers. Our team is led by Mohammad Khan, who is one of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney. He has represented clients in some of Australia’s most high-profile cases and was under the direct tutelage of Australia’s leading criminal lawyer Adam Houda.


Moreover, our team has worked and successfully represented clients on highly complex trials and sentences in NSW.


Work closely with Australia’s leading criminal law barrister


We work closely with some of Australia’s leading criminal law barristers. Barristers are usually instructed in more serious matters, and their experience and input can be invaluable to your case. The barristers we regularly instruct range from Queen’s counsels, Senior counsels and highly experienced junior-senior counsels.


Specialist for District and Supreme Court trials


Our team of Sydney criminal lawyers have worked on numerous District and Supreme Court trials in NSW. We have worked on extremely complex criminal law trials that require impeccable preparation and understanding of the law.


Specialist for bail applications in NSW


Lyons Law Group is a highly experienced team of bail lawyers. We have regularly obtained bail for clients for extremely serious charges that carry life sentences. For types of charges, bail is usually denied by a Court.


In house Experts


Our criminal lawyers have in-house investigators with decades of law enforcement experience and assist our team with process service, background checks, integrity testing, investigations, surveillance, and bug detection.


For the preparation of jury trials and defended hearings, these services can be utilised on behalf of our client to achieve the best result.


Appearance at all Courts in NSW


From Broken Hill to Waverly, our criminal lawyers appear in all courts throughout New South Wales.


If you wish to contact us or book your first free 15-minute phone conference, contact us on 0404479096 or send us an email at info@lyonslaw.com.au.

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