Most of us don’t set out to break the law, but unfortunately some of us do find ourselves on the wrong side of it. This can be because of a silly mistake, or it can be a case of mistaken identity. Whatever the circumstances, it’s a big shock to be arrested and to have to go through the process. That’s why it’s important to know what to do if you’re arrested ,to minimise any problems further down the line. Here’s what to do if you find yourself facing criminal charges.
Know Your Rights
When you are arrested, you should be told your rights and taken to the station for questioning. In Australia, there aren’t Miranda rights as you might see in other countries, but the police will tell you that any statements you make will be used in evidence. As soon as you are arrested you should contact a criminal lawyer in Perth WA so that they can act on your behalf. It’s important to make this a priority, and not to make a statement until you get the right legal advice.
Your lawyer will be able to help you with many things, and you’ll usually have some time to talk things through with them. They’ll be able to advise on:
- How to answer questions
- Whether you should consent to certain tests
- What the next steps will be
- What you are being charged with
Make sure you get clarification on anything you don’t understand, and follow your lawyer’s advice. They will have dealt with your situation lots of times beforehand, so know the legal process inside out.
If there’s enough evidence, you will be charged with the crime you’ve been arrested for, plus any others that have come to light. Australian law gives the police four hours from the time of your arrest to charge you, but there may be different circumstances depending on your crime. Again, your lawyer will explain everything to you.
Bail or Remand
If you’ve been charged then you might find yourself being sent to a remand centre, or you may be given bail and be allowed to go home with restrictions. You’ll then have to attend court, and your lawyer will help you get prepared for this. It’s important to follow any restrictions placed on you, and to ensure you have the best legal help possible at this time, so that you have a better chance of a good outcome.
Being arrested is not something that happens every day, and it can be a big shock to go from a law abiding citizen, to a suspect. That’s why it’s important to get the right legal help as soon as you can, and to have someone on your side to stick up for you. Make sure you know your legal rights if you get arrested, as this can help you in future, and means you can keep yourself safe if you find yourself being scrutinised by the law.