Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Sunday, 17 December 2023 18:00

What happens when the Police want to talk to me over the weekend or during the holidays?

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It is generally well understood that Police stations are staffed and operating 24 hours per day, seven days per week inclusive of weekends and public holidays. This can result in an officer who has been assigned the investigation or follow up of a criminal or traffic matter to be working irregular or out of business hours shifts.

It necessarily follows that a police officer may contact a witness, suspect or person of interest to schedule an Electronic Record of Interview or request them attend the police station during one of their shifts.

This could look like a person receiving a phone call, text message or even a visit to their home address when they are not expecting it. While it may be useful for people to attend the police station outside of working hours, this may create an issue where a person wishes to exercise their right to have a solicitor present during any interview.

While it may not be entirely necessary for you to have a solicitor present during any interview that you elect to give (see our article on whether or not you should give an Electronic Record of Interview here), if you attend a Police station on a Public holiday or outside of business hours, there may be an impact on your chosen legal representatives availability or additional costs associated with that attendance.

 

What should I do if the Police want to talk to me during a public holiday or on a weekend?

If the police want to talk to you on a Saturday or Sunday, or worst-case Christmas Day, you have all the same rights as you would if it was any given Monday. You have the right to have a support person, family or Lawyer present during any questions. The issue arises of availability of your support person or legal representative.

If you have advanced warning of an interview, and you wish for your legal representative to be present it is usually best to attempt to reschedule the interview for a time that is within normal working hours. However, this may not always be achievable.

 

What happens if I am arrested on a Public Holiday or Weekend?

If you are arrested on a Public Holiday or Weekend, and the police decide not to give you watchhouse bail, then you will be held in the watchhouse until such time that the court can get you in front of a magistrate for a bail application. Some courts will run on Saturday for in custody matters, however that is not the case for every court.

What happens, you might ask if you are arrested during the Christmas Court Closure period? The court will be available for certain urgent matters, including bail applications as needed. Each Court will maintain an on-call Magistrate for the relevant times. The exception will of course be Christmas Day and Sundays.

Here is some more information about bail that may be useful

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is typically best to wait until working hours to attend on a police station for the purposes of an Electronic Record of Interview, or to receive documents. In the event that is not achievable, and you intend on having your lawyer available to you, give as much advance notice as possible and anticipate that there may be additional costs for that attendance.

Remember never give an interview to police unless you have first obtained legal advice.

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Jack Marshall

Jack is a former soldier and now a criminal defence lawyer with Clarity Law. He helps clients navigate the court process and get the best results.