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Your Rights Under Arrest

Your Rights Under Arrest

If you’ve been arrested for any reason, it is very important that you understand your rights. One of those rights is the right to contact a criminal lawyer. Our team of criminal lawyers will respond to you quickly and be present with you during any investigation to make sure that you get the best possible assistance.

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Having a good criminal lawyer by your side can mean the difference between being held for a short or long period of time. It can also make a difference to how invasive any search you have is and whether anything you say can incriminate you. If you’re arrested, make sure you call one of our Parramatta or Fairfield criminal defence lawyers as soon as possible.

We can help you by:

  • Giving you advice about your rights.
  • Making sure you understand the charge and the possible penalties and defences.
  • Giving you advice about what you should or should not say.
  • If we advise to have an interview with the police and you agree, we will attend the police station with you and represent you in those interviews.
  • Represent you to make sure that your rights are observed and you are treated fairly and with dignity during the arrest and remand process.
  • Applying for bail on your behalf and advancing arguments in your favour.
  • Representing you in court.

There Are Several Types of Assault

If you have been charged with assault it means that you are accused of intentionally using, or threatening to use, force against another person. It can be broadly divided into common and aggravated assault, but there are many specific categories that fall under these terms. These categories include:

  • Common Assault
  • Assault that causes bodily harm.
  • Reckless Wounding
  • Reckless grievous bodily harm.
  • Intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

  • Aggravated Assault
  • Wounding with intent.
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Assaulting police in the execution of their duties.
  • Assault causing death (otherwise known as the ‘one punch’ law).

Common assault might occur if you have punched or hit someone, for example, but not caused actual or grievous bodily harm. The maximum sentence is two years imprisonment. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm is more serious and carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. Reckless grievous bodily harm is more serious still, and intent to cause grievous bodily harm even more so.

Aggravated assault is not a specific offence on its own, but occurs if an aggravating factor applies to an assault offence. This might be because you:

  • Used or threatened to use a weapon.
  • Committed an assault against a police officer.
  • Assaulted a close family member, including a spouse or de facto partner.
  • Have a record for similar offences, or have breached bail, parole or AVO conditions.

There are a number of possible defences to a charge of assault. These can vary depending on the circumstances and the nature of your charges, but may include:

  • Factual Disputes (where there is disagreement over whether the assault did not happen, or did not happen in the way that is claimed)
  • Wrongful Identity
  • Self-Defence
  • Lack of Intent
  • Mental Impairment

The penalties for an aggravated assault are heavier than for a common assault in the same category.

There are also specific assault charges if you resist or assault a police officer, as well as the ‘one punch law’ that applies if you assault someone who dies as a result.

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of assault a criminal conviction will generally be recorded against you. Penalties can range from fines and community services to imprisonment.

You should also be aware that if you are found guilty of assault, you may also face civil actions. These include a action for victims of crime compensation, in which the prosecution makes a claim against you, or an action begun by the victim themselves in which they sue you for compensation.

Know Your Rights

An arrest is usually made by the police. To be a legal arrest, the police must:

  • Inform you that you are being arrested.
  • Inform you why you are being arrested.
  • Make it clear to you that you are not free to go.

They must also show evidence that they are a police officer if they are not in uniform and provide their name and place of duty.

The police do not need a warrant to arrest you if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that you have committed (or are in the process of committing) an offence and that the arrest is necessary. They can also arrest you if:

  • There is a warrant for your arrest issued by a court.
  • You have breached bail conditions that were previously set.
  • You have breached the peace.
  • You have taken a roadside breath test which indicates that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Assault causing death (otherwise known as the ‘one punch’ law).

Once you have been arrested you will be taken to a police station and your rights explained to you. These include:

  • The right to contact a lawyer. If you choose, you also have the right to have your lawyer present for the investigation. We strongly recommend that you assert this right, as anything you say during the investigation may be used against you at trial. Having one of our experienced Parramatta and Fairfield lawyers with you can give you support at this stressful time, and makes sure that you do not say anything that will be used against you at a later date.
  • The right to contact a friend of relative.
  • The right to an interpreter.

  • The right to medical attention if it is necessary.
  • The right to remain silent. It’s important to understand that this is not an absolute right, there are some exceptions. For example, in some circumstances you have to give your name and address. If you are arrested in connection with a traffic offence, you must not only provide your name and address but also information about who was driving and who was a passenger in the car. Having your criminal solicitor with you can help you understand what you are and are not required to disclose in your particular circumstances.

The police may search you either when they arrest you or when you are in custody. There are restrictions to how they can search you and how long they can detain you for. We will advocate for you to make sure that those restrictions are complied with and your rights preserved. If possible, we’ll help you get released unconditionally or on bail. If the severity of the offence means that you are held on remand, our representation will focus on getting the matter heard as soon as practicable.

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02 8761 6400

John & Co Lawyers | Fairfield Lawyer | Variety of Practice Areas

“I would just like to thank you for your hard work and understanding during a very stressful time for myself.I cannot thank you enough for the work and advice you provided. My assault and stalking and intimidation charges were heard by the Magistrate at Liverpool Court yesterday, Tuesday 16th. I pleaded guilty to the assault with the stalking being dropped prior by way of representations made by you. The Magistrate seen through the bullshit supplied by the Police facts sheet and I am happy to say no conviction was recorded. He stated it was “a molehill turned into a mountain by police”. John I would just like to say your professionalism on both of my criminal and family law matters was outstanding. I would go so far as to say its the best service I have ever had. Keep up the good work!!!”
Josh P.

John & Co Lawyers | Fairfield Lawyer | Variety of Practice Areas

“I found John & Co lawyers to be there when I needed them. They were very quick to return my calls and emails which came about at random times. The team were very experienced and had high technical knowledge in family law that was required throughout the process. John will defend you and give you that encouragement to fight for your rights when you have lost all will power to defend yourself. John was very tough to stand up to the other side whilst achieving great results for my daughter and I. I highly recommend their services.”
Nikky R.

John & Co Lawyers | Fairfield Lawyer | Variety of Practice Areas

“Highly recommend this law firm to anyone injured! John is the best personal injury lawyer. He is exceptionally knowledgeable in the law. He always kept me well informed and was readily available to answer all of my questions. John represented me for my workplace injury. From the very beginning I felt his genuine concern for my wellbeing and it showed throughout the case as he always returned my calls and explained the process step by step. My case settled in November 2018 for $690,000 clear in my hand. John & Co Lawyers gave me my life back, and for that I am forever grateful. John & his team are great lawyers, very professional and, made the process seamless for me.”
Nenad A.

John & Co Lawyers | Fairfield Lawyer | Variety of Practice Areas

“I was absolutely astounded by the service provided by John and co lawers.  John went above and beyond to extend additional help with my case. Johns experience is second to none, His professionalism and sound advice was just what was needed. I would highly recommend his services to anyone with pressing family law matters. His warm personality made me feel like part of the family, as I could easily dissus any finer details with my case and he would take into consideration. If I have any cases in future he will be my first choice. Thanks again John your service is Highly appreciated. God bless you. 5 stars.”
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