One of the most commonly asked questions I get is: “what are my rights if I am questioned by the police?”

You should follow this basic procedure:

1    Give your full name, birth details, occupation, address and supply
your driver’s licence (if you have one). You do not have to answer any
    further questions.

2     You do not have to go to the police station unless you have been arrested.

3     Ask the police officer – “Am I under arrest?” If he/she says
“no,” you are under no obligation to accompany the officer to the
police station except in the case of a drink driving charge.

4     If the officer says you are under arrest, you must accompany
him/her.  If you do not go, you could be charged with resisting arrest.

What to do at the police station.

1.     After you have given your name, age, occupation and address, you are under no obligation to answer any further questions.

2     At this point you should state clearly and firmly that you want
to speak to a lawyer before answering further police questions.

3    Ask to see a lawyer as soon as possible. The police must let you consult a lawyer.

Dangers in answering police questions.

You may unwittingly provide police with evidence that may convict you
later on. A criminal conviction can have very serious consequences.
Therefore it is better to wait and be advised by a lawyer before saying
anything. Don’t be afraid to keep silent. It is your right.

If you have any questions about criminal or traffic law, please write
to Neelam McDonald (on

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The information contained in this article or response is intended to
provide general information. The contents do not constitute legal
advice and should not be relied on as such. Readers should seek
independent legal advice in particular matters.