- If approached by police you need only give your name, address and, if under 18, your age.
- You have the right to remain silent after providing those details.
- You do not need to go to the police station unless you have been arrested or detained.
- There is no such thing as an off-the-record interview. Always ask to contact a lawyer before a police interview.
- Ask to be allowed to make a phone call to your family or a lawyer if you are arrested. If this is refused, take note of the name of the officer involved and tell your lawyer. Your phone may be taken off you if you are arrested. So, before you go to Schoolies, find out who you should contact in case you need a lawyer’s help at the watch-house.
- Do not give an interview until you have received proper legal advice from a lawyer.
- In some cases, the Queensland Police Service can issue a ticket called an ‘infringement notice’ for a certain type of public nuisance offence, a public urination offence, and a related offence for obstructing police or disobeying a police direction.
Under such a ticket, you automatically get a fine (of 1 to 6 penalty units).
If you pay the fine within 28 days, you do not have to go to court and no criminal history is recorded. If you dispute the ticket, you can elect to go to court for a contested hearing.
However you should be aware that, if you are found guilty or change your mind and decide to plead guilty, you will also have to pay the offender levy ($125.80 in the Magistrates Court) in addition to any penalty imposed. If you lose your case, you may also get a criminal history.
More details are available on the Queensland Police Service website. For more information about matters are handled under the Youth Justice Act in the Childrens Court (if you are under 18 years of age), see the legal information section on the Youth Advocacy Centre’s website.
Click here for more information about Police Powers and Your Rights
at the Queensland Law Handbook