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Police powers


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

In this section you will find information on police powers and the legal safeguards that ensure that police are held accountable for their actions. In particular you will find useful information about your rights in relation to answering police questions, arrests, searches and the taking of DNA.

Please select the topic you are interested in from the list below, or read further information on this page about legal safeguards that are designed to protect your rights.

General legal safeguards designed to keep the police accountable and your rights protected

The police have broad powers but these are limited by legal safeguards to protect your rights. Before exercising (or as soon as reasonably practicable after) exercising the power, the police officer must provide you with:

  • Evidence that he/she is a police officer (unless he/she is in uniform)
  • His/her name and place of duty
  • The reason for the power being exercised

If the police officer is exercising a power that involves making a request or issuing a direction, he/she must also provide you with:

  • A warning that you are required by law to comply with the request or direction (unless you have already complied); and if you do not comply after being given that warning and the police officer believes that your non-compliance constitutes an offence,
  • A warning that the failure to comply with the request or direction is an offence.

You will find other specific safeguards in other topics in this section

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?

Leading Criminal Law NSW 2017 ISO 9001 Legal Best Practice Accredited Specialists Criminal Law Sydney Business Awards Winner 2011