The right to remain silent
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
We all know the carol Silent Night. As we head into the holidays, it is important to know that you truly do have a right to remain silent.
As the festive season comes into full swing, it is inevitable that there will be an increase in driving-related and alcohol-fuelled incidents. Here we provide some useful information on how the law protects us and give some advice for dealing with police encounters.
A police officer can arrest anyone without a warrant if they have reasonable grounds to suspect they have committed an offence or are committing an offence. The burden of proof, or onus, is on the police to gather the evidence to support these grounds. On arrest, the officer must caution the arrested person — or as soon afterwards as is reasonably practicable — that they have been arrested and that they are not obliged to say anything, but that anything they do say may be used in evidence against them.
In plain terms, after arrest a suspect need not say anything to the police, beyond providing basic personal information — name, date of birth and address.