In Trouble With The Police?
Any encounter with the police in Western Australia may be extremely stressful and overwhelming. Without proper legal advice, it is an experience that can further add to your anxiety. We can help you by providing expert legal advice to put your mind at rest. This includes if you have:
- been arrested;
- been asked to attend a police station for an interview; or
- have had police attend your residence with a search warrant.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of any offence you must accompany the Western Australian police to the police station. You should be cautioned by the police that you are under arrest for suspicion of a particular offence. The police have a legal obligation to inform you of this. If you are not under arrest you do not have to accompany the police at all. Once informed that you are under arrest, you have a right to call a lawyer. Exercise this right and call Richard Lawson for legal advice immediately on 0419 141 991 before answering any further questions.
You have a right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions the police put to you except:
- your name;
- date of birth;
- address; or
- if you were the driver of a vehicle.
If you are arrested the police can only detain you, in most cases, for a maximum of 12 hours unless they charge you with an offence.
POLICE STATION ATTENDANCE
The police, on occasion, may call you and invite you to attend the police station in relation to an offence they are investigating. You do not have an obligation to attend the police station at all, unless you are under arrest. You should ask whether the police consider you a suspect or a witness in their investigation.
Do not go to the police station without calling Richard Lawson immediately for legal advice. Get the name and phone number of the police officer so Richard can make enquiries on your behalf. Do not attend a police station with the intention of sorting out the matter on your own.
Frequently, the police will indicate that if you do not attend the police station they will come and arrest you. If the police are serious about apprehending you, they will come and get you without warning. Unfortunately, lawyers in Western Australia cannot be with you in the police station while the police are conducting their investigation.
You should never attend a police station when requested for an interview. You have a right of silence and you must indicate to the police that you are exercising that right. Under no circumstances, agree to an electronic record of interview (EROI). If the police invite you to participate in an EROI, it is because you are a suspect and not a witness. Anything you say in an EROI can be used against you as evidence in a court of law.
Quite often, the police will request you to participate in an EROI so you can provide your side of the story. At law, you do not have to do this. Anything you say may constitute an admission which can assist the police in obtaining a conviction against you. Remember, it is up to the police to prove the case against you beyond reasonable doubt. You do not have to prove anything. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you say nothing. If in doubt call Richard on 0419 141 991 for clarification and proper advice as to your position at law.
In most cases, if the police wish to search your premises they must have a valid search warrant. The police will normally knock on your door and identify themselves. At this point, call Richard Lawson immediately to obtain legal advice as to your rights in relation to police searching your premises. If you do not answer the door, or not at home, the police can force entry into your premises and search without you being present.
The search warrant will indicate what the police are looking for. If the police should find an illegal item, not listed on the search warrant, they can still seize it and charge you.
During a search, the police will confine you to a designated area. If they should find an item of interest they will seize it and video tape the process. It is also quite common for the police to caution you during a search and question you using a video recorder. Be aware that anything you say is recorded and can be used against you as evidence in a court of law. Do not answer any questions police put to you whilst being recorded.
No matter what the time of the day or night, please do not hesitate to call Richard on 0419 141 991 if the police come knocking. There is no fee for this advice.
Remember, if arrested by the police, you have the right to contact a lawyer. I recommend you do this immediately. All you need to do is tell the police that you wish to speak with Richard Lawson and they will allow you to make the call. It is good practice to insert Richard’s mobile number 0419 141 991 in your phone.
Richard will be able to advise you on the best course of action on the spot. This can sometimes be the difference between being charged and ending up in custody, or being released without charge.