First things first. You need a lawyer, and the clock is ticking. Not only that, but you need the best.
That happens to be us.
If you’ve just been arrested, call us first. Any time, any day. You might be panicking, but this is our everyday, so we can be a calm voice in your ear. No judgement. Just the advice you need, when you need it.
Your next steps
- If you’ve just been arrested, you can contact a family member and a lawyer. We’ll answer your call 24/7.
- We may meet you at the police station where you’re being held.
- The police will likely ask if you wish to participate in a formal police interview. You may accept or decline. Don’t agree to an interview until you’ve talked to us. This is a crucial decision.
- You will be held in the watchhouse overnight or for a weekend, until they must release you on watchhouse bail. In some instances, they may keep you in custody if they believe you’re at risk of committing another offence or you might fail to appear in court. If you’re not granted watchhouse bail, you must be brought before the court at the earliest opportunity, where you can apply for bail.
Should you participate in a formal police interview?
If you’ve just been arrested, about to be charged with an offence or you’re under investigation by the police, you will almost certainly be asked if you wish to have a formal police interview.
Seek specialised legal advice before you talk to the police.
Remember that anything you say to a police officer, even in an informal setting, may be recorded and/or later used as evidence against you.
Ultimately, it’s your decision whether or not you speak to the police—but participating in a police interview can be the difference between you winning and losing your case.
If you decline to participate in the interview, you will not face any penalty now or later. Police and prosecution cannot use this against you.
That’s because, in Queensland, you have the right to silence. The right to silence is closely related to the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty, so this is key for criminal lawyers.
We may be able to provide you with free, no-obligation, urgent legal advice. Call us 24/7 or email us for a fast response.
P: 1800 ASK JFL (1800 275 535)
Your loved one has just been arrested
The arrest of a family member is often a stressful experience, especially if it was unexpected.
It can be difficult to obtain information about the arrested person, including if or when they’ll be released by the police.
The information below explains common police procedures where a person is arrested and taken into custody.
After arrest, the person is taken to the police station for processing.
The police should explain the person’s rights on arrest and detention in custody.
By law, the arrested person must provide their full name, address and date of birth to the police.
It’s best to assume that everything said to the police will be recorded.
Police will often ask the arrested person whether nor not they wish to participate in a record of interview.
You should always obtain legal advice prior to speaking to the police about any matter.
Once arrested, the person has the right to contact both a lawyer and a family member.
If they are not an Australian citizen, they may also contact the embassy or high commission of their country of citizenship.
If you’re unsure if your loved one has requested legal advice, you may contact a lawyer on their behalf.
The lawyer can make enquiries with the police and may even meet at the police station where your loved one is being held.
Police may also obtain the arrested person’s DNA, photograph and fingerprints. This information will be retained on the police database.
You should let the lawyer or police know if your loved one has any serious medical conditions.
The arrested person will be able to obtain medical treatment, including regular medications, while they’re in the watchhouse.
Police may only hold a person in custody without charging them for a certain period of time.
Once that time period is expired, the person must be released unless they’re charged with an offence or the police gain special permission to extend the period.
Many people are released promptly by the police on either a Notice to Appear or watchhouse bail.
For serious charges, or where a person is a risk, the police may keep them in custody. If this occurs, the person may be able to apply for bail from a court.
Depending on when your family member was arrested and charged, they may spend the night or even the weekend in custody until the first court appearance.
Family members are generally not able to visit or speak to the arrested person during this time.
A person who is refused watchhouse bail must be brought before a court at the earliest opportunity. Most people will apply for bail at this stage.
The court will decide whether the person should be released on bail.
It must consider if the person charged is at an unacceptable risk of failing to appear, absconding or committing further offences.
The court considers the unique circumstances of each case.
Bail applications are a specialist area of criminal law. If you have any questions about obtaining bail for yourself or a family member, get in touch with us for expert and specialist advice.
Your first call to us is the most crucial.
We’re here for you and we’re available to take your call 24/7.