Police powers and my rights

This page is currently being reviewed and will be updated as soon as possible.

If you come into contact with the police, it’s a good idea to make sure you stay calm and respectful. Being aggressive or violent with police will probably make things worse even if you have done nothing wrong. You can get into trouble just for behaving badly with the police. 

If you are a suspect for a crime, or are being investigated for a crime, the Police may want to ask you questions. If that happens, you can exercise your right to silence and get legal advice straight away.

Legal services

If you are under 25 and have questions about police powers, you can get help here.

NSW Legal Aid Youth Hotline

If you’re under 18 and in serious trouble with the police, you should call the NSW Legal Aid Youth Hotline on 1800 10 18 10.

Shopfront Youth Legal Centre

The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre provides free legal assistance for homeless and disadvantaged young people aged 25 and under. They are based in inner Sydney but can also help young people outside this area. You can call them on (02) 9322 4808 or email them at [email protected]

Aboriginal Legal Service

If you are an Indigenous person then you should let the police know this. The police have rules they have to follow when speaking to and dealing with Indigenous people. This includes having to call the Aboriginal Legal Service (“ALS”) if you are arrested and haven’t organised your own lawyer.  The police must call the ALS before they question you.  

The ALS also gives general legal advice and support. You can contact the ALS at:

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The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.