Your legal rights

Your rights and the police     

Police may search you if you freely agree, if you are under arrest or if they suspect on reasonable grounds that you are carrying illegal drugs, weapons or stolen goods.

Police may arrest you if they have a warrant, if they catch you committing an offence, if they suspect on reasonable grounds that you have committed an offence, or if they believe on reasonable grounds that you have breached your bail.

Police may give you a move-on direction if they believe on reasonable grounds that you are obstructing, harassing or intimidating people, buying or selling drugs, would be likely to frighten a reasonable person, or if you are intoxicated and behaving in a disorderly way.

In most situations you don't have to answer police questions.
It's best not to answer any police questions (other than your name and address) until you have got legal advice.

You have a right to call a lawyer from the police station.
You can call the Shopfront on 9322 4808. If you need urgent legal advice after hours, you can choose to be put through to a solicitor.

If you are under 18 you can call the Legal Aid Youth Hotline on 1800 10 18 10 (9am to midnight Monday to Thursday;  24 hours weekends and public holidays).

If you are an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander, the police must allow you to speak to the Aboriginal Legal Service Custody Hotline.
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More information about police and your rights:

Information about driving, licensing and traffic offences:

More information about legal rights for young people:

For more information about young people and the law, you may wish to order a copy of Youth Justice: your guide to cops and court in NSW (fourth edition, 2010).


The material on this web page "Your legal rights" is a summary only of the subject matter covered, without an assumption of a duty of care by the Shopfront. The summary is not intended to be nor should it be relied on as a substitute for legal advice. Please see the disclaimer for further information.