There are many ways to get into trouble and sometimes the consequences of doing something on impulse are far reaching – even devastating. The first and foremost thing to do if you get into serious trouble with the law is to contact a criminal lawyer for help. They will even come to the police station, if that is where you are, and see what the trouble is about. Then they will be able to post bail to get you out of gaol, or they may be able to make the police let you go, if they are holding you without enough evidence.
You have a right to some kind of legal aid. If you can’t afford a lawyer, one that offers their services for free will be designated. While this is better than none, it is much better to get your own as they tend to work harder on your behalf. When speaking to your lawyer, it is always best to tell them the truth of the matter so they can form a better idea of what will happen to you and how they can best help you. The truth usually comes out in the end anyway, so you can be a few steps ahead by telling your lawyer exactly what happened.
Why good behaviour is best
However, sometimes you can get into trouble that is not so serious. If you are picked up by police or even just come into contact with them it is best if you behave politely and respectfully. If you even swear around police – rather than at them – they can arrest you.
The police have a right to ask you for your name, ID and address. In many cases you have to tell them, but you don’t have to give any more information. You have a right to ask them why they want your details and if you are under arrest. You don’t have to go to a police interview with them unless they arrest you. If you do end up in the interview room you don’t have to answer questions.
You have rights
If you feel they are not treating you the way they should, you are within your rights to ask them for their name, rank and place of duty. They must tell you these details as that is the law. You can then make a formal complaint about their treatment of you later on. This is better than trying to do something about it at the time because this can be seen as resisting arrest or bad behaviour that you can be arrested for, even if they weren’t going to arrest you at first.
If you are indigenous you should let the police know as soon as possible as they then have to contact Aboriginal Legal Services for you.