Getting arrested is a stressful and terrifying experience that can happen to anyone. Even if you think there is no chance that you will be arrested, familiarize yourself with the process so you would know what to do if it happens to you.
What Happens During an Arrest
First of all, during the arrest, the authorities should tell you that they are taking you in and why. They may confiscate your belongings, but they will give it back to you later on. They may also search you over your clothing before they bring you to the station.
Know Your Rights
The police are allowed to use force during an arrest so do not try to resist or run away. However, if unreasonable force is used, the arresting officer may be charged with assault.
Once at the police station, you should be given the opportunity to contact a lawyer. There are criminal lawyers in Townsville and all across Australia who knows the process and can advise you how to proceed. You should also be able to call a relative or friend to alert them about your situation.
Do not answer questions aside from your basic information without a lawyer present. The police should inform you that you have the right not to say anything. This information may be used against you in court. Refusal to give the accused caution may turn the questioning inadmissible as evidence. During the investigation, your lawyer must be by your side or you can refuse to answer any question.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Those who are arrested due to incidents involving motor vehicles are required by law to answer questions such as who is driving and who is the passenger. If you have a medical condition that requires immediate care, it is best to let them know. You have the right to receive medical attention when needed or as requested.
The police may detain the accused for a few hours, but this may be lengthened with a warrant from the court is available.
After the initial investigative period, you may be allowed to go home. Either the police or the court may grant you the right to post bail, but this does not apply to everyone.
Granting of bail depends on the seriousness of the offence and punishment or the likelihood that the accused will interfere with witnesses. The police or court may give you conditions that you have to follow once you are released. If you break one of these conditions, they may arrest you again and the charge becomes more serious and severe.
Once granted bail, the police will hand you over to the custody of a surety or the person who will assure the court that you would appear at a specified date and time for trial. Failure to do so can mean that the surety will be liable and may lose the money that was surrendered for your release. If you do not appear in court, if you are once again apprehended by the police, you will likely not be granted bail again.
The best thing to do to avoid arrest is to be educated of regional and nationwide laws. Even if you are not guilty, the best way to protect yourself during an arrest is by knowing your rights.