Your Criminal Law Rights | CM Lawyers Blog

August 30, 2013

It can feel like your heart stops when you hear the words ‘You’re under arrestâ?. Don’t start to panic though. It’s important that you stay calm and do exactly what you are told to do. Any lawyer or solicitor you find in Sydney’s Inner West will tell you this. Just as you have basic human rights, you actually have rights when it comes to the law.

In cases of criminal law, these are your rights:

  • You are innocent until proven guilty (yes, every TV show or movie you’ve ever seen has at least got one thing right)

  • The prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt

  • Silence can’t be used to suggest guilt in the majority of cases

  • A person who has been acquitted can’t be tried for the same offence again (this is the double jeopardy rule)

  • If you are charged with a summary offence under the Summary Offences Act, you are allowed to ask the police for more information about the charges, like the time, place, and how the crime happened (a summary offence can be things like smoking marijuana, or offensive conduct or language)

  • If the police don’t give you these details, the Court has to adjourn the charge until you get the details, or the charge can be dismissed entirely

  • If you are going to ask for these particular details, it needs to be done so in writing at least two weeks before the hearing


If you do end up going to court on criminal charges, it’s important that you have the right criminal lawyer for you, and there isn’t a shortage ‘ there are plenty of great criminal lawyers in Sydney’s Inner West alone. When you do find your criminal lawyer, remember to listen to what they say and to take their advice. They’re the professional in this situation and they want to help you get the best result possible.

If you’re looking for a lawyer in the Inner West, enquire online to CM Lawyers or call us on (02) 9568 6266 today.

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