In a pickle? Your legal rights…

Stuck in a sticky legal situation? Getting on the wrong side of the law is a difficult position to be in,  especially if you haven’t had much experience with it. It’s extremely helpful (and necessary) that in these situations, you know your Australian legal rights. Keep in mind that the law may be different in each state and territory.

You have the right to:

– Remain silent
– Be treated with respect and dignity
– Be told if you are under arrest and the reason why
– Speak to a lawyer or a friend before the police interview you
– Privacy
– Participate in public life and the liberty to express yourself
– An interpreter if needed

You can receive free, one-off legal advice from Legal Aid NSW on a range of issues to do with the law. Such legal issues include: criminal law (if you’re facing criminal charges), family law (family breakdown, domestic violence and child support) and civil law (housing law, consumer law such as credit, debt and mortgage matters, discrimination, social security, immigration (Central Sydney Office), mental health, and guardianship law). If you’re in need of a lawyer or representational solicitor, you’re able to apply for a ‘grant of legal’ aid with the Legal Aid NSW too. This means that you have a lawyer employed by Legal Aid NSW, or a private lawyer paid for by Legal Aid NSW representing you in your legal matter.

You can find them at various locations across New South Wales, including legal aid offices, courts, community organisations, prisons and hospitals. Call the free legal helpline LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 to find a service near you!

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– Consult your solicitor before you sign anything!
– Speak to a solicitor about your options and investigation issues
– If English is not your native language, or you have some difficulty understanding the police or your lawyer, you have the right to get an interpreter who can explain things to you

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