legal info

 

ARE YOU BEING ARRESTED?

The 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:

Just 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 violent.

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 a complaint.

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 in court.

 

NAME + ADDRESS

The 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 address.

You only have to show proof of ID if you are actually arrested.

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 it means.

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.

 

LEGAL ADVICE

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 arrested.

 

CONTACTING RELATIVES + FRIENDS

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 phone.

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

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 arrested?

 

FINGER PRINTS

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 for photographs).

 

SEARCHES

The 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 consent.

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

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.

DEBRIEF AFTERWARDS.

- based on info by the s11 legal team with extra bits from rivkah
- this legal info is aimed at victorians

 

 

 

You have the right to talk to a lawyer before the police question you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The police have the right to ask for your name and address, whether you are under arrest or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The police do not have an automatic right to search you.

L.i.n.k.s  
during M1 Know your legal rights
victorian police

 
 nestle kill babies in 2001