HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - M1 MELBOURNE LEGAL INFO
WEB SITE: during
M1 Know your legal rights
ARE YOU BEING ARRESTED?
police probably have the right to physically move you out of the
way of vehicles etc without arresting or charging you.
They can arrest you if they think you have committed
an offence but also if they ("reasonably") think you may be about
to commit an offence.
If the police arrest you, they must TELL you you
are being arrested and they must take hold of you- you must physically
submit for an arrest to occur.
It is an offence to 'resist arrest' but it is
NOT an offence to passively resist, ie. by going limp, or to run
away before the arrest takes place (however running makes you
vulnerable to being shot in the back or something so its probably
wiser to walk quickly instead).
If you're not sure what's going on, ask if you
are being arrested.Ask what you are being
charged with and remember what they say.
It is a defence to the charge of resisting arrest
if youdid not know the person arresting you was a police officer
(ie they were a plainclothes cop).
If you swear at the police or do anything that
could count as 'assaulting' them, you could leave yourself open
to more charges.
THE GOLDEN RULE:
because you have been arrested it does not mean you will necessarily
be convicted of an offence (the police still have to PROVE in
court that you did it) and it does not even mean that you will
be charged with an offence.
Police CAN arrest people just to get them out
of the way and then release them without charge - they are allowed
to detain you for a 'reasonable' amount of time.
Police are allowed to use 'reasonable' force to
arrest you but you can make a complaint if you think they were
If you have any injuries, get them photographed
and seen to by a doctor as soon as possible.
In fact it is a good idea to pay as close attention
to the circumstances of your arrest as if you were going to make
The details could help you later if you are charged
and go to court.
Remember the exact words and actions of the arresting
officer/s, get the names and contacts of any witnesses, and write
down exactly what happened as soon as possible afterwards.
If the arrest wasn't done properly (ie the wording
of the charge says you should have been given a direction to leave,
and you weren't), you could have your charge dropped or get off
NAME + ADDRESS
police have the right to ask you for your name and address, whether
you are under arrest or not.
It is an offence to refuse to give your name and
address and if you are arrested, the police may refuse to release
you on bail if you don't.
It is also an offence to give a false name and
You only have to show proof of ID if you are actually
You DO NOT have to, and you should not, give the
police any extra information even if you have been arrested.
You have the right to silence, and remember there
is no such thing as an 'off the record' conversation with police.
And - the golden rule #2:
NEVER sign anything unless you know exactly what
The police officer must tell you their name, rank
and where they're stationed if you ask them.
They are supposed to have their ID badges on
display at all times while they're on duty.
You have the right to talk to a lawyer before
the police question you.
Get hold of the names and phone numbers of any
lawyers who have offered their services during your action.
Get the police to call one for you if you are
Before the police question you, you have the right
to contact a relative or friend to let them know where you are.
Get the police to phone them and put you on the
The police have no right to demand that you submit
to being photographed, but they are allowed to try.
If you don't want to be photographed, cover your
face or move away.
# This may not apply to a 'mug shot' after been
The police have the right to demand that you let
them take your fingerprints.
They have the right to use force if you refuse.
(I think if you are arrested and let off, or found
not guilty, you can ask to have them destroyed - the same goes
police do not have an automatic right to search you.
However, they will usually do a 'pat-down' search
if they arrest you.
They will take anything you've got off you and
give it back after you've been 'processed'.
If you've got incriminating stuff on you, ie.
lock-on equipment even if you haven't used it, it could be used
as evidence of conspiracy.
Police can do a strip search if they have 'reasonable
grounds' but it should not be done in a public place and should
be done by an officer of the same gender as you.
They can not touch you improperly or conduct an
internal or external examination without a court order or your
You shouldn't consent.
If they try to take a forensic sample (blood,
hair, genital or mouth swabs), you should refuse and get hold
of a lawyer.
GETTING OUT OF CUSTODY
The police can either release you without charging
you (but you may get a summons sent to you in the mail), or they
can charge you and release you on bail.
Ask to leave as soon as you've been processed
at the police station.
Bail is an undertaking (a promise) that you will
turn up to court on the day your charge is listed.
The undertaking is a form that you have to sign
before they'll let you go.
It has standard conditions printed on it, ie.
that you will turn up to court.
The police can add special conditions to your
undertaking, like a promise that you will not return to the protest
in which you were involved or even to the general area.
You don't have to agree to these.
If the undertaking doesn't include special conditions,
sign it and get out of there.
If you want to make a political statement and
refuse bail, go ahead- you can accept bail at any time or stay
in jail until your court case if you want to.
If the undertaking includes extra conditions,
- tell the police you want them to call a lawyer, and discuss
it with them - if you don't want to agree to the conditions, don't
sign the bail form.
You may be kept in the police cells for some time,
but the police have to take you before the Magistrates Court as
soon as possible to ask for bail from the magistrate (this is
also the case if you are refused bail).
A lawyer (or you) can ask the magistrate to drop
the extra bail conditions and there is a good chance that they'll
agree. - or you can sign the form with the conditions and the
police will let you go.
If you breach the conditions, it may be grounds
for the police to re-arrest you and you could then also be charged
with breaching bail.
IF YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH AN AFFINITY
GROUP - HAVE SOMEONE DELEGATED AN 'ARREST WATCHER' TO KEEP AN
EYE OUT FOR PEOPLE BEING ARRESTED, FOLLOW THEM TO THE POLICE STATION,
MAKE SURE THEY'RE OK AND WAIT FOR THEM TO GET OUT.
HAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN IN CASE
OF ARRESTS - LIKE A PLACE TO MEET BACK AFTER YOUR ACTION.
- based on info by the s11 legal team with
extra bits from rivkah
- this legal info is aimed at victorians