If you are questioned by the Police in connection with a crime, you should always presume that your conversation will be recorded and can be used as evidence against you.
The conversation can be recorded by a body worn camera, dictaphone or by the Officer making notes of his/her conversation with you. In some cities, you may even be recorded by certain television shows that shadow the Police.
Recorded discussions can take place at the scene of a crime, in the back of the Police vehicle or in an interview room at the Police Station.
You are obliged only to provide your name, address and date of birth if asked by a Police Officer in circumstances where you are committing an offence, suspected of committing an offence.
If you are involved in a traffic incident, you will also need to provide your licence information, details the vehicles involved incident, the drivers of the vehicles and your version of what occurred.
When questioned by the Police, you can ask to speak to a lawyer and we would recommend that you do so as soon as possible. If you continue to be asked questions, we would recommend that you say “I have nothing to say.” Then ask again to speak to a lawyer.
Guilt cannot be inferred from your refusal to answer questions asked by a Police Officer.
In some cases, if you do speak to the Police, you may assist the Police by providing them with information that will result in further charges. For example, if you are detained for having drugs in your possession, and are questioned about why you have them, you may say it was to sell to a friend. Such a statement may lead to you being charged with both possession of drugs and the more serious offence of supply of drugs.
If you do make an admission to the Police in relation to an offence, yet later wish to plead not-guilty, it can be very hard to provide convincing evidence later on that your admission should be ignored.
In circumstances where you are guilty of an offence and wish to co-operate with the Police, we still recommend that you only provide a statement to the Police after having the benefit of receiving legal advice. Your co-operation may then provide a benefit to you in relation to the penalty imposed by the Court.
If you have been contacted to provide information to the Police and are fortunate to be able to arrange a time to speak with an Officer, please seek the assistance of one of our experienced solicitors.
If you are detained by the Police without notice, you can insist that we be contacted so that we can meet with you as soon as possible.