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Arrested in Western Australia?: Here are your rights

Being arrested is an unpleasant experience. It is even worse if you don’t even know why you are being arrested. Therefore, it is imperative that you know your rights in such an unfortunate event. Knowing the correct behaviour for both yourself and your arresting officers can be vital to your case.

It’s important to remember that everyone has rights during arrest. You must know them and here we have answered your questions regarding this situation:

  1. Don’t the police need a warrant to arrest me? 

The best criminal lawyers Fremantle has will tell you this: police do not need a warrant to arrest you in specific situations. These include:

  • They suspect you recently committed or about to commit a crime;
  • They suspect you are about to breach the peace;
  • They suspect you are about to become violent;
  • They suspect you have already committed or are about to commit a “serious offence”.
  1. What constitutes reasonable suspicion? 

When conducting a search or arrest, officers must provide a reason for their suspicion that unlawful behaviour has occurred or was about to occur. There must be sufficient rationale to go beyond simple suspicion. Occasionally, this can seem a bit vague. The courts often decide if the officers had the right to make such an arrest under “reasonable suspicion”.

  1. What constitutes a serious offence? 

A serious offence may contain one or various factors, including:

  • Crimes against another person;
  • Organised crime;
  • Serious public or political ramifications.
  1. So, what are my rights in this situation? 

You have the right to the following when under arrest:

  • Be made aware that you are under arrest;
  • Receive the minimal use of force required to be put in custody. If you resist, the police may escalate the amount of force, and you may also be charged with obstructing police;
  • Humane treatment
  • The right to remain silence except for stating your name, birthdate and home address;
  • To receive further information regarding your rights, which includes:
  • Imperative medical treatment
  • Reasonable media privacy
  • The ability to tell a relative or friend of your whereabouts
  • Qualified translator or interpreter services.
  1. Your rights as an arrested suspect 

If you are arrested as part of an investigation, you have additional rights to be aware of, including:

  • To be made aware that you will be interviewed as a suspect;
  • Be made aware of the offence for which you have been arrested. They may also inform you of other crimes they suspect you committed;
  • The ability to call a lawyer;
  • The ability to wait for an interpreter to help during your interview.

Note: The police may decline your request to contact another person. They will do so if they suspect any of the following:

  • They suspect you will alert an accomplice to avoid the police;
  • They suspect you will instruct someone to hide or destroy evidence;
  • If they suspect you intend to put someone in danger through your phone call.
  1. What happens if the police don’t adhere to these rules? 

Police officers must follow strict protocol when dealing with every arrest. If you feel that they did not abide by their rules, you can do the following:

  • Request proper treatment;
  • Ask for a specific process (such as contacting a lawyer) to be carried out;
  • If your request is still denied, you can ask to speak to the leading officer and repeat your request;
  • If they continue to remain unmet, ask that it is noted in your custody record. You should also try to make a mental note of what occurred and file a complaint to the Ombudsman with as much detail as possible.

It can be difficult, but it is vital that you remain as calm as possible. What’s more, contacting the best criminal lawyers will help you with your rights during this unpleasant ordeal.

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