6 Things You Need To Know About Civil Rights

Things You Need To Know About Civil Rights

Understanding your civil rights is crucial to navigating your way through legal situations. Australia is a country founded on the rule of law and strongly protects the rights and freedoms of every individual. No matter what circumstance you are in, you are allowed to exercise your civil rights. Knowing what your rights are is especially important when you are or are about to be, arrested. Here are 6 things you should know about your civil rights in such situations.

1. What Criminal Offense Warrants An Arrest

There are a number of criminal offenses that you could be arrested for committing in Australia. This includes but is not limited to assault, driving under the influence, theft, possession of illegal drugs, or assault weapons. As long as the police officers have reasonable grounds to believe that you committed a crime, they can arrest you.

2. When Can You Be Arrested By Legal Authorities

A police officer can only arrest you if they have a warrant or have substantial evidence pointing towards a crime you have committed. If the police believe you are mentally ill and may harm yourself, they can legally detain you. Otherwise, there is no circumstance in which you are obligated to go with a police officer to a police station. If you are arrested, however, it is not advisable to show resistance since doing so will only get you additional charges. It is best to do as the officer says and show maximum co-operation.

3. What Information Are You Required To Give

If you are arrested, you are not obligated to answer any questions or provide any information nor are the police allowed to pressure you into doing so. The police should generally tell you that you have the right to remain silent. You can refuse to answer any questions and your silence does not translate to an admission of guilt. 

4. What Should You Say When Arrested

It is better to avoid saying anything since in such a stressful situation you may say something you don’t mean that could be held against you later on. You cannot, however, lie about your address, which is a criminal offense. You may be asked to submit fingerprints and be searched during or after the arrest.

5. What Can You Do Once Arrested

After you have been arrested, you can still exercise certain rights that mostly concern what you can legally do to protect yourself. Right after the arrest, and before interrogation, you are allowed to call a friend or family member in privacy without the police monitoring your conversation. You have the right to contact a civil rights lawyer and talk to them in private. You can also request an interpreter, which you don’t need to pay for if you aren’t fluent in English.

6. Special Situations

If you’re a foreigner, these laws can vary considerably. If you’re underage, you must inform the police immediately. You have the right to contact your parents or a legal guardian immediately. The same is applicable to those with physical or mental disabilities.

Things You Need To Know About Civil Rights

The legal system is complex and isn’t easy to understand if you don’t have thorough knowledge about it. It is best to receive legal advice as soon as possible to avoid further complications. An experienced lawyer will help you navigate the situation better and defend you wherever and whenever the need arises. The civil rights we’ve mentioned are basic ones everyone must be aware of. Having a working knowledge of your civil rights will help you deal with unforeseen circumstances better. So, be sure to keep these guidelines in mind.