Dealing with NSW Police - Know Your Rights

Dealing with NSW Police – Know Your Rights

Dealing with the police can be tricky. While the majority of NSW police officers are working towards public safety and keeping the peace, you can never be too careful when interacting with law enforcement to protect your best interests.

Sometimes it will be better for you to say the bare minimum (especially when the alleged offences are more serious) and to wait for legal representation. However, to extract information, NSW police do not have to be 100% truthful. While they may claim they are “only trying to help”, it may be a ploy to get you to disclose information. By knowing what you have to tell the police, and ideally by hiring a criminal lawyer, you can make sure you don’t say anything you might come to regret.

What you have to disclose to NSW police

In most cases, you are required to give a police officer your name and birthdate when requested. This, however, is where the required disclosure of information on your behalf ends. Beyond this you have a general right to silence which can only be wavered upon a ‘special caution’ given with a lawyer present.

If you’re suspected of committing a major offence, it can be best to remain silent until legal representation arrives.

What NSW police have to tell you

Upon request, NSW police must inform you of:

  • their name,
  • their badge number, and
  • the reason for arrest if you are being detained.

You also have the right to film officers as long as you are on public property or have permission from the property owner to film. Although police may ask you to stop, you are well within your rights, as long as you are not obstructing them from their duty.

Benefits of having a lawyer

The benefits of having a criminal lawyer, more often than not, outweigh the costs. A lawyer is a professional who can help guide you through any legal processes, inform you of your rights and ensure you’re not being taken advantage of.

If you ever find yourself in a serious matter involving police, it is highly advisable to seek legal representation, guilty or not, to make sure you come out with the best outcome possible.

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