SO YOU’RE 16, 17 and going to schoolies.
This blog is aimed at YOU – the under 18’s.
You have rights…
For a start don’t agree to an interview until you get legal advice.
Police record most conversations they have with you, even in the street they might be recording, and you may not even know it. So you could find yourself giving police information about you or someone else, that the police will later use.
If you are approached by police:
- Give them your NAME, ADDRESS and DATE OF BIRTH. (I should state that you don’t always have to supply this, but it’s a list of when you MUST, and the list if too long to recite here).
- Then tell them you want legal advice before answering ANY MORE QUESTIONS. CAUTION: It can be easy to say something you think will help get you out of trouble, an excuse or reason, but the effect is that you might be making an admission.
- Name, Address, date of birth, I want legal advice. Got it?
The police can only make you accompany them somewhere, like the police station, if YOU ARE UNDER ARREST. So don’t volunteer to go with them to the station unless they say the words: “YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR […REASON…]” (plus they should give you their name, rank and station).
At your age, you have every right to hang out in public places – streets, parks, sidewalks, (not shopping centres – they are private land)… The police can direct you to move on (and leave for at least 6 hrs) if you are, in short, annoying other people, or you are drunk/drug affected. (If you are drunk or drug affected this can also be an offence and you may be arrested.)
If you are given a move along direction by police you have the right to know why, and what you are required to do (e.g. how long you have to leave). You can then choose to comply, and avoid more hassles, because if the move along direction is lawful and you don’t comply, it’s an offence (If you refuse a ‘move along direction’, you might be charged).
Now, I’m assuming fairly minor offences when I say this, but if the police ask you questions you don’t have to answer them, and this won’t work against you. Whether you go to the station voluntarily or under arrest, or whether you’re asked questions in the street – 4 things to remember: name, address, date of birth, “I’m not answering questions without legal advice”. Name, address, date of birth, “I want legal advice before talking”. Got it? That’s all you need to take from this blog.
This is NOT legal advice. This is designed to take some of the mystery out of the law for ‘google-lawyers’. I repeat – it is not legal advice. But we hope it helps.
If you need a Lawyer and want us to represent you, the Local Court Lawyers are experts in all local court matters. We come to you, anywhere in NSW, but our head office is on the north coast: Coffs Harbour, Grafton, MacLean, Ballina, Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Murwillumbah or Tweed local courts.
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