Police officers must only employ powers of arrest if all else fails, such as when alternatives like on-the-spot-fines or delivering a summons are unviable or impractical. However, an officer could arrest you if:
- He has reasonable grounds to suspect that you’ve committed an offence;
- You’re about to commit or are currently committing a crime; or
- The court has issued a warrant for your arrest.
The Legal Procedure for Arresting a Potential Offender
The police officer arresting you must clearly inform you that you’re under arrest and why specifically you’re being arrested. While unreasonable force is considered assault, police officers could utilise as much force required to make an arrest. A magistrate or judge would, later on, decide if the force used by a police officer was reasonable under the circumstances specific to your arrest. The officer could likewise put you in handcuffs if you try to get away or if he deems it vital to prevent your escape.
It’s also very important to note that resisting arrest is an offence, warns expert solicitors from top firms like Connolly Suthers in Townsville. The police could arrest you even if you’re, in fact, completely innocent, if they have reason to believe that you’ve committed an offence. Resisting arrest could also mean that you’re committing an offence that you might be charged with, even if you couldn’t be charged with another offence.
The Legal Procedure for Searches
A police officer could also stop you, search you, and detain you if he reasonably believes that you’re in possession of something illegal, dangerous articles, items illegally obtained, drugs, stolen items, or items that you might use illegally such as weapons or tools you could for theft. When conducting a search, a police officer must give you his name, reasons for searching you, and place of duty.
Do note that random searches are not allowed. With random searching, the officer could pat you down, search your vehicle, and check your bags and pockets. Officers could also only conduct a strip search on you under urgent and severe circumstances, considering that they observe supervision and privacy rules. Additionally, refusing to be searched could lead to you getting arrested and being forced to submit to a search.
What to Do If You Get Arrested
You have a right to silence or remain silent. But if your arrest involves the use of your vehicle, you need to give the arresting officer your name and relevant identifiable information. Otherwise, you have to respectfully insist that you talk to your solicitor so that your solicitor could be present during questioning. The police might also take photos of you and your fingerprints for identification purposes, and ask witnesses to see your photos for identification.
The main thing to remember when you get arrested is that you need to get a hold of a solicitor. Your solicitor would explain to your rights and available alternatives, and determine whether or not your arrest was lawful and valid. You solicitor would likewise help you apply for bail, you during police interviews, and represent you in court proceedings should it come to that.