Criminal Law FAQs
Rowan Skinner & Associates is a dynamic legal practice in Clifton Hill with a focus on Family Divorce Law Proceedings, Criminal Law and Litigation.
The information supplied in the FAQs section is intended as a guide only. It is not a substitute for proper informed legal advice. You should always consult a criminal lawyer before acting on any of these questions.
What happens if police ask to interview me?
Being suspected of a criminal offence and being spoken to by police or prosecuting agencies as a suspect is very stressful.
We strongly suggest that you speak with a lawyer before speaking to police.
Call us on 03 9995 9155 at any time if police have requested you take part in an interview.
If police suspect you of committing an indictable offence, they must tell you that do not have to say anything but anything you do say may be used in evidence against you if they intend to question you about an offence. They are also obliged to tell you that you may communicate with a lawyer.
Do I have to give my fingerprints?
If police interview you about an offence, with the exception of some traffic offences, they have a right to obtain your fingerprints and can use reasonable force to obtain them if you refuse.
If there are no charges laid, police are obliged to destroy your fingerprints within 6 months.
Do I have to give my DNA?
Police have a wide variety of powers to obtain forensic samples, like saliva, or blood, to assist them linking a suspect with a suspected offence.
A senior police officer can authorise a non-intimate compulsory procedure for certain people held in a jail, police cell or secure facility who are the subject of an order by a Magistrate to be delivered to police for questioning . For example, a sample of hair or a swab from an external part of the body.
You should always get advice from a lawyer, but police cannot compel you give a forensic sample in the absence of an order from a Magistrate.
Can Police search me or my house?
Police can conduct a personal search of you in the following circumstances
- Under the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act if they suspect you of possessing a drug of dependence
- of intending to supply a volatile substance to a person under 18 years to inhale, or
- if they suspect a person under 18 years of possessing a volatile substance
- If they have reasonable grounds to suspect you of committing a serious indictable offence
Police can search your house, boat or vehicle:
- If they have a warrant
- Without warrant, if they suspect there is a drug of dependence
- If they suspect you of committing a serious indictable offence or find you committing a serious indictable offence
Should I take part in an identification parade if asked by police?
It is not compulsory for you to take part in an identification parade in Victoria.
You should always seek legal advice if asked to take part in an identification parade.
Call us on 03 9995 9155 to discuss your matter.
Contact us to arrange a consultation.