1. Ask if you’re under arrest

What you should do

Without a , the police are only allowed to you for a minor crime if they see you committing the .

You might be charged without being if you tell the truth about who you are, and the police believe:

  • you will not destroy
  • you will not repeat the offence
  • you will go to court as required

If the crime is more serious, you’ll be arrested. To find out whether the police are arresting you, ask. Say politely, “Am I under arrest?” If they say that you are, ask them why.

Your rights

You have a right to be told immediately why you’re being arrested.

When you’re being arrested, the police can search you in order to:

  • find evidence related to the offence you’re being arrested for
  • prevent you from destroying evidence
  • protect the police or public

When you’re being arrested, the police can also search your immediate surroundings, which include:

  • you
  • your clothing
  • anything you’re carrying, including your knapsack, purse, or cell phone
  • your car if that’s where you’re arrested
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