1. Stay Calm:

This may be the hardest thing to achieve, but if achieved it will make all the difference. Remember that you must be arrested before you can be interviewed. The law says that this is required so that you have your rights read to you and so that you understand the allegations, so that you can obtain legal advice and contact a family member or friend. Remember that your arrest does not automatically mean that you will go to prison or that you will be found guilty. Staying calm allows you to think. It allows you to take the next necessary step to protect your interests.

2. Ask for a pen and paper:

 It seems simple. However, no matter how calm you remain, there will be moments of stress and stress affects your memory. Having a pen and paper means that you can keep a record of who you speak with, what you discuss and any other details that may become relevant later. Nothing is more frustrating for a criminal lawyer than to ask for the details of the Police member that arrested an accused person and be told that they don’t recall or don’t remember.

3. Write down the details of the Police member who has arrested you and the allegations:

Keeping records of who you spoke to and about what can be integral down the track if you are charged with a criminal offence or, even, if your lawyer is simply trying to track down the Police member who arrested you!  Police members are required to give their name, rank and Victoria Police (VP) number. You should obtain these details as well as the details of the Unit or Station that they are from. They are also required to advise you of the allegations. Accordingly, you should note these down so that you can discuss with your lawyer when you obtain legal advice.

4. Ask to call a family member and take down their number if you don’t know it:

The Police are required to allow you to contact a family member to advise them of your whereabouts. However, take heed – if you don’t know their number and need to access your phone, think carefully about this. Is there anything on your phone that may incriminate you? If you genuinely think that you may be arrested, perhaps start memorising some numbers now. However, if you do not have any concerns about opening your phone, then write down the numbers of at least three friends or family members so that you can call them when you arrive at the station.

5. Immediately advise the Police of any health concerns you have (including mental health or substance abuse):

A person must be in a fit state to be interviewed. If you have health concerns, if you suffer from signification mental health issues or if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you must tell the Police. They may want a Forensic Medical Officer to examine you before they interview you. They may give you time to dry out before interview. Being up front about these issues will avoid trying to rectify any damage caused later. Also, don’t think that you will shock them. Police have seen it all!

6. Immediately advise if English is not your second language and you need an interpreter:

Answers that you give to Police may be lost in translation. If you have any concerns about speaking with the Police in English without a translator, tell the Police. Your answers need to be accurate and you need to ensure that you understand your situation, what the allegations are and, most importantly, the advice being given to you by the lawyer that you engage and speak with.

7. Engage a lawyer. You can do this either directly from the Police Station or through your family:

Obviously, before you speak with Police, you need to speak with a lawyer. Even if the lawyer gives you advice that you are already aware of, they are your mouthpiece. They will keep an eye on the situation from the outside, obtain further information from the Police and ensure that you are brought before the Court (if that occurs) as soon as possible. They can also negotiate bail or summons and keep your family updated. In short, they are essential. If you are unable to privately fund a lawyer, contact legal aid as soon as possible and they will arrange for a lawyer to represent you. However, if you can privately fund a lawyer and you want the best available representation, contact Galbally Parker Lawyers. We frequently advice individuals under arrest and we offer a holistic service that advocates for you, whilst keeping your family informed and preparing any Court matters.

If you are Under Arrest, Contact Our Criminal Lawyers

Don’t hesitate to contact our office if you are under arrest and looking for a criminal defence lawyer. We have a team of expert lawyers with experience in a range of different areas of the law, including, organised crimecriminal appealsassaultmurder and manslaughterdrug offencesfraud, and customs offfences.