Police Powers: Stops and Searches
If the police suspect me of a crime, will they arrest me?
It depends. If the crime is minor, you might be charged without being arrested if you tell the truth about who you are, and the police believe that:
- you will not destroy evidence,
- you will not repeat the offence, and
- you will go to court as required.
If the crime is serious, you will be arrested. To find out whether the police are arresting you, you can ask them politely, "Am I under arrest?" If you are, ask them why.
Later, the police might release you from the police station. They could ask you to agree to certain conditions before letting you go. Or you might be kept in police custody and then taken to court, usually within 24 hours of your arrest.
At the court, you will be given your first opportunity for a bail hearing. At this hearing, a judge or justice of the peace will decide if you should be detained until your trial is over. Or, they may order that you be released, and on what terms and conditions.