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Posted by Dannielle Ford Criminal Law

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF APPROACHED BY THE POLICE?

Being approached by the Police can be nerve racking and can lead innocent people to do silly things. It is important you know your rights if approached by Police Officers in New South Wales.

Even if you feel there is no reason for the Police to be talking to you, it is important to stay calm and respectful. If you behave disrespectfully, aggressively or violently around or towards Police, it is likely you will be charged.

There is a common misconception that you have a right to silence in all matters when the Police approach you. This is not a blanket rule and some exceptions are if:

  • the Police think you witnessed a serious crime and can provide information.
  • you are involved in a car accident.
  • you are driving a motor vehicle.
  • the Police issue you with a ‘move on’ direction.

This list is not exhaustive and if you find yourself in a situation where the Police want to speak to you, we recommend you call us to provide you with further advice.

If you are questioned, charged or even arrested and taken to a Police station, you do not need to answer Police questions or give an interview, if you do not have legal representation. You must still identify yourself to Police if asked to do so.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you should remember that it is illegal to give the Police a fake name or address and will likely see you charged with a criminal offence.