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Adelaide, SA. 5000
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Q. What do I do if I am arrested?
A. We would encourage anyone arrested by the police to be aware of their legal right to silence. The only information you have to pass on to the police is your name and address. It is always advisable to stay courteous when dealing with the police but know that under the law it is your right to only provide them with your name and address. At your earliest opportunity you should call your lawyer to seek advice regarding your situation.
Q. What do I do if I am issued with a Summons?
A. Please note the date and time on the summons for your court appearance, and make sure you attend in a timely manner. For all matters it is advisable that you seek legal advice as to whether representation at court is necessary. It is imperative that you do not ignore or forget that you have court, as the consequences for missing a court date may be quite serious.
Q. What should I do if Police want to search me, my car or my home?
A. There are several things you should do if you are faced with this situation which are:
- Ask what offence they are investigating
- Ask to see a search warrant
- Make sure you are present when the search is undertaken
- You can only be searched by police if they reasonably suspect that you are holding evidence in relation to a crime or if you are already under arrest
- Police should provide you with a receipt of all items seized. You should check all goods taken against the receipts you have been given by the police.
Q. What happens if I am sick and cannot attend court?
A. If you are sick it is best that you make every effort to contact the court and explain your situation prior to your matter being heard. It is also important that you get a doctor's certificate that you can present to the court as evidence of your illness. Please be aware that it is still possible that a warrant for your arrest is issued by the Magistrate for your non-appearance.
Q. Do I have to give my name and address to the Police?
A. It is a legal requirement for individuals to give their name and address to police if police reasonably suspect that an offence has been committed. You are not obliged to answer any other questions. It is always advisable to be polite and courteous when dealing with the police. For drivers of a motor vehicle, police are entitled to ask for the name and address of a driver of a vehicle, the name and address of the owner of a motor vehicle along with what is being carried within the vehicle.
Q. When in court is it easy to adjourn a matter so as to then seek legal advice?
A. There are various steps you need to go through in order to adjourn a matter for another date.
- You Must Appear
- At the Courthouse
- On the Date
- At the Time stated on the Summons or Bail Agreement
- Go to the lists at the front of the Courthouse and look for your name. You need to do this so as to establish which Courtroom you are in. If you can't find your name go to the enquiries desk and they will help you.
- At the Courtroom you will find an Orderly's desk to one side. Go to the Orderly and have your named ticked off the list. Tell the Orderly that you will be asking for your matter to be adjourned. You can then seat yourself in the public area of the court.
- When you are called, go stand in the dock. The Orderly will direct you if you are not sure where to stand.
- Then say: "Your Honour, I ask that this matter be adjourned because:
(a) I have consulted with a solicitor but they inform me they are unable to appear in Court until ..... (Give a date)."
(b) I would like to see a solicitor but have not done so yet."
(c) I have applied for legal aid and my application is being processed."
(d) Or give any legitimate and truthful reason."
- If this is your first appearance, the Magistrate will usally grant an adjournment. The Magistrate wiil give you another date and time. If this date and time is not convenient, explain why.
- When a date and time convenient to both you and your solicitor is obtained, thank the Magistrate. The Orderly will write down the date and time on a slip of paper and give it to you.
- Sometimes, depending on the charge, the Court may require you to enter into a simple bail agreement. This means you will have to wait in Court for bail papers to be typed up. When you sign the bail papers you are agreeing to attend Court on All of the dates written until the matter is finalised.
- You may now leave the Courtroom.
Q. Can I afford to have a Lawyer represent me?
A. If you are suffering from financial hardship or are receiving some form of benefit payments, always remember that legal aid is available to you. McGrath Lawyers accept legal aid clients. Furthermore, McGrath Lawyers offer a free, no obligation, first interview, where you can discuss what fees, if any, our firm will charge for our services.
Q. Am I entitled to Legal Aid?
A. Everyone has the right to apply for legal aid. Please be aware however that a means test is applied to all applications and you may have that aid refused. Under normal circumstances if you have a regular job and own your home it would be very unlikely that aid would be granted. If aid is refused it would then be up to the individual to engage private counsel.
Australiasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII)
Resource of Australian and International legal materials, including a law specific search engine, links, Australian cases, law and other legal matters.
Parliament of South Australia
Welcome to the Parliament of South Australia online. At this site you will learn about the processes of the South Australian Parliament, discover its history and access its information, including Harsard and Bills.
Courts Administration Authority
The Courts Administration Authority is constituted by the Courts Administration Act 1993.
The Authority is independent of Government and is a means for the judiciary to control the provision of the administrative facilities and services required by State courts to carry out their judicial functions.
Participating courts of the Authority are the Supreme Court, District Court, Magistrates Court, Youth Court, Environment, Resources and Development Court, Coroner's Court and Industrial Relations Court.
Legal Services Commission of South Australia
Is responsible for helping people access justice by providing legal advice, legal representation and community legal education and information. They can provide help in areas of criminal law, family law and some civil law matters.
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