Compared to many developed countries, Australia has been ranked the 13th safest nation in the world, and Sydney, the 5th safest city globally according to The Economist’s 2019 Safe Cities Index. But that doesn’t exclude the city from criminal activities and subsequent arrest and incarceration.
As per the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in Australia, 42,633 prisoners were held in custody in 2020. Out of that figure, 13,118 were from New South Wales, increasing by 2 per cent from the previous year.
The importance of hiring a criminal lawyer Sydney has never been more imminent, as the number of arrests keeps increasing.
Common Reasons for Arrests
The most common reasons for arresting individuals in recent times have been drug trafficking, activities that can be construed as violent, use of illegal prescription and performance-enhancing drugs.
As you can see, if these charges are levied against individuals and successfully prosecuted, the consequences can be quite harsh.
Your Rights After Getting Arrested
Getting arrested for the first time might be a hectic and confusing time. You may or may not be at fault for the charges the police place upon you. Therefore, it is wise to know your rights so that you can defend yourself within the gambit of law and avoid any action or spoken word that the police might use against you in court.
Some of the most important privileges that a person has upon being arrested in Sydney, as enumerated by the Law Society of New South Wales, are:
- Intimation by the police about the person’s rights after being taken to the police station.
- Right to remain silent, except for a few cases, like arrests made for automobile disputes.
- Right to procure the services of a lawyer.
- Right to contact a friend or relative.
- Right to have an interpreter present should there be a need for the same.
- Right to medical care should be necessary.
- After the arrest, a person can be detained for six hours. A court warrant can extend this period for another six hours. But without a warrant, the person should either be released on bail or produced before the court with immediate effect.
Why Seek a Criminal Defence Lawyer?
There are many reasons for seeking a criminal lawyer in Sydney, depending upon the circumstances of individual cases. Here are some broad reasons why you should consider consulting one:
Expert Legal Advice
A lawyer is an expert in his profession who can explain how the law applies in your particular situation. They can help you navigate through the nuances of the law by specifying what you should say and what you should refrain from mentioning. You can also request your lawyer to be present during the initial interrogation process after an arrest has been made.
It is one thing to imagine an arrest situation and another thing altogether to stare down on facing grim consequences based on how things proceed. Getting arrested can be stressful for you and your family members.
Procuring a good defence lawyer will give you the confidence to face the situation calmly and in a less stressful manner. Also, whenever you’re in doubt or need of help, you will know whom to contact.
Save Money by Avoiding Risks
This may seem like a counterintuitive point on the face of it, but not being represented in court by a competent lawyer can expose you to life-altering risks. You can expose yourself to the possibility of being incarcerated on false charges or through evidence that may have been easily dismissed or challenged.
Incarceration or having a criminal record can permanently put you at a disadvantage while seeking employment, or it can also get you terminated from your current position.
If you’re still in doubt on whether or not you should hire a criminal lawyer in Sydney, ask the pros and cons of your particular case to your attorney and decide carefully.