Music festivals often have a police presence to make sure everyone has a fun and safe time.

There may be circumstances where police may want to question you or request to search your person at a music festival.

It’s always best to try and get legal advice before police request to speak to you or search you, however, you won’t always at this point, have an opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

So here are some things to remember in those circumstances:

You do not have to answer any questions outside of:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Address

It is important to remember, other than this, you don’t have to answer any further questions.

Should The Police Want To Search You they have the power to seize items that may be of evidentiary value.

But only in the circumstances where:

  • You have been reasonably suspected of committing an offence
  • and when they have a search warrant

A reasonable belief must be more than a possibility, must have some factual basis, which depends on the information in the mind of the police officer at that time when forming that belief.

The behaviours of a festival goer can be the circumstance that attracts the police’s attention which informs their reasonable belief.

There are also certain areas, called declared public precincts such as Hindley street, which broaden police’s power to conduct searches during certain periods of time. These are specifically prescribed in law – and increases police capacity for drug detection and search for weapons.

Again, it’s important to remember to remain courteous if spoken to by police., You do not have to consent to a search by police, but you should also not object as it is an offence to hinder a legal police search.

If police want to seize your mobile phone – you are not required to provide a password or any other details that would allow access to the phone if they don’t have a warrant.

So next time you’re at a music festival, make sure to look after yourself and your friends, and remember your legal rights.

If the police want to search you, remember:

  1. That you don’t have to answer any questions, other than your name, DOB and address
  2. If police sieze your phone, you are not required to provide a password
  3. That you do not have to consent to that search, but should not object as it can be an offence.
  4. You can tell police you wish to speak with a lawyer

If you find yourself stuck in this situation, please get in touch and we will do everything we can to assist you.

2 Comments

  • Avatar John Evans says:

    Hi, is there an update on the SE freeway laws for small vans/buses against 80+ tonnes trucks?

  • Caldicott Lawyers Caldicott Lawyers says:

    Hi John,

    As reported in the Sunday mail 8/12, the new and reduced penalties and provisions are:

    – Repealed the six month licence disqualification applicable to either of the two SE Freeway offences upon expiation of a first offence and reduce the disqualification periods applicable for a second, third or subsequent offence from 12 months, three years and three years to six months, 12 months and three years respectively

    – Remove the ability for an Immediate Loss of Licence to be issued roadside for a 1st offence for either of the two SE Freeway offences

    – Reduced the Court imposed licence disqualification periods for first, second and subsequent offences where the driver is successfully prosecuted for either of the two SE Freeway offences from 12 months, two years and three years to six months, 12 months and three years respectively

    – Reduced the current applicable body corporate levy (where no driver is nominated) from $25,000 to $5,000 where the matter is expiated and to between $10,000 and $20,000 where the matter proceeds to court.

    A vehicle is a heavy vehicle if it has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of more than 4.5 tonnes.

    A motor vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes is classified as a truck regardless of the body type of the vehicle (excluding tractors, trams and buses)

    A motor vehicle built to carry more than 12 adults including the driver is classified as a bus

    Further amendments are being looked into but have not been legislated as of yet.

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