I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Police Interviews and the Right to Silence
When exercising police powers, an officer must comply with basic safeguards. Police cannot arrest a person for questioning or require a person to accompany police to a police station for questioning unless the person has been arrested for an offence. When the police invite a person to participate in an interview about an alleged offence, the person has a right to silence. This means that they do not have to participate in the interview or answer any questions, except to give their name and address. The police powers in New South Wales are set out in the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002.
Police interviews and the right to silence
When police are investigating an offence, they will often ask suspects to participate in an interview. This may occur after a person has been arrested, or without an arrest occurring. A person who is asked to participate in an interview does not have to do so. The police are obliged to give the person being interviewed a formal caution. This means they must tell them their rights, including:
- They have the right to silence and do not have to answer any questions;
- Anything they do say may be used as evidence against them.
The police are not allowed to interview a person who is sick, injured, intoxicated, tired, hungry or distressed.
If the person is under 18, the police must contact a responsible adult, usually, a parent or guardian, to be present with them while they are interviewed.
Detention at A Police Station
Police only have a reasonable time to interview a person and carry out further investigations once they have been detained. A reasonable time may be up to 6 hours, unless the police apply for the period to be extended (by detention warrant) up to a further 6 hours.
Limits on the right to silence
It is an offence to refuse to answer a police question if you are concealing information about a serious indictable offence that would lead to a prosecution.
A serious indictable offence is an offence that has a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years or more. The maximum term of imprisonment for refusing to answer is 2 years or 5 years if you gain some benefit from the information. A common example of this is when a family member of a drug dealer turns a blind eye to the supply of prohibited drugs.
The police may also require a person to disclose their identity and provide proof of their identity in the situations below. It is an offence in these circumstances to fail or refuse to comply with this requirement without a reasonable excuse. It is also an offence to give a false name, or an address other than your full and correct address.
When do you have to provide your details?
A person must provide their details to the police in the following circumstances.
- Where the police suspect on reasonable grounds that the person may be able to assist in the investigation of an alleged indictable offence because theu were at or near the place where it occurred. Maximum fine for non-compliance: $200.
- If the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that an AVO has been made against the person. Maximum fine for non-compliance: $200.
- The person was a driver, passenger or owner of a vehicle and the officer suspects on reasonable grounds that it is associated with an indictable offence. Maximum fine of for non-compliance $5500 or 12 months imprisonment, or both.
- The person was involved in a car crash where:
a. Someone was injured or killed.
b. They forgot or choose not to give their details to the other driver that was involved in the crash.
c. Any of the vehicles were towed away; or
d. A police officer asked for their details.
The details that a person is required to give within 24 hours of a car crash include their name and address, the owner’s name and address and the vehicle registration details. A person will also be required to provide an explanation of the circumstances of the crash. If you find yourself in this situation it would be wise to talk to a lawyer before giving your explanation. The maximum fine for non-compliance is $2200.
Should you exercise your right to silence?
The decision as to whether to take part in an interview is a difficult one to make as there can be advantages as well as disadvantages of doing so. Each case is unique and our advice often varies from case to case. If you would like specific advice, we would be happy to speak with you on either 1300 038 223 or send an email to [email protected]
No unfavourable inference can be drawn from a person refusing or failing to answer questions in the course of official questioning.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking Part in a police Interview
If police invite you to take part in an interview, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding whether to do so. Some of each are listed below. This information is not a substitute for tailored legal advice and it is always wise to speak to a lawyer before agreeing to do an interview with police.
- Your denial, if accepted, may mean that police do not charge you with a criminal offence.
- If the prosecution goes ahead. your version of events may be more readily accepted by the court because you told the police what you knew at the time of your arrest and before seeing the witness statements.
- An interview may be an opportunity to show remorse for the offence. The court must take into account your remorse when sentencing you.
- Police often do not have enough evidence against you to prove the offence when they question you. You may say something that may help the police prove the case against you.
- Providing your version of events to police often will not influence the police officer in deciding whether to issue a court attendance notice.
- The interview process can be very stressful and this may lead you to be confused or mistaken about what actually occurred. Often suspects who are interviewed will give an incorrect version of events and after reading the witness statements, remember what occurred. It is always difficult for an accused person to convince a court that they were mistaken about the facts and have not changed their evidence to support their case.
- You may implicate others in the offending.
Four Important Questions to Ask Before Agreeing to a police Interview
Before agreeing to an interview with police, you or your lawyer should ask the police officer investigating your matter these four questions:
- Will participation in a record of interview affect the police’s decision regarding issuing a court attendance notice?
- What evidence do the police have against me? (ask them to show you the evidence)
- Am I likely to be granted bail?
- Is it an offence to fail to provide an answer to any question?
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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