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VIC Traffic Cops - How long can they detain you?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by Chef, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Here's an interesting question that's just popped up in a conversation, how long can the po-po legally detain you during a traffic stop before you're FREE to go.

    Each word has been chosen carefully, so read them carefully before committing to an answer.

    I'm interested specifically about Victoria. But I'm also interested in any interstate variations if they exist, so feel free to give interstate answers if you know them.

    If you can find the relevant evidence to support your knowledge that would be greatly appreciated.

    Justus if you pop up, try and keep it short and sweet son ;)

  2. Haha OK Chef, I'll try :p

    Firstly, I'd argue that you are not detained during a traffic stop until you are arrested.

    For the purposes of a license check, RBT etc, you are stopped for as long as is necessary for them to complete whatever
    it is you were stopped for. You are then free to go. As we all already know this, I'd assume this is not what you are referring

    Now the law dealing with arrest and interrogation in Victoria is complicated because it is designed to strike a proper
    balance between an individual's rights on the one hand, and the community's need for effective law enforcement on
    the other.

    In Victoria, the powers of arrest are set out in the Crimes Act 1958.

    They do not have to arrest a person found committing an offence, if they believe the case can be dealt with by summons
    see section 46. But to answer your question,

    In instances where you are placed under arrest, there is no specified amount of time the police can detain you ie. there is
    no longer a maximum time the police can hold you at a police station, but under Bail Act 1977, a person must be either
    released on bail or brought before the Court within a reasonable time.

    Now what a "reasonable time" is will depend on the facts of each particular case. The Bail Act presumes that an accused
    person is entitled to bail, therefore, most people charged by police receive bail.

    Can you be arrested for questioning? Nope. They can request you to accompany them to a police station for questioning
    but unless you have been arrested or apprehended for an offence, you may kindly tell them to get stuffed.

    If however, a warrant has been issued for your arrest, then that is a different kettle of fish. A warrant is usually used in
    situations where a person on bail or summons has failed to attend court as required. A Magistrate or Court Registrar
    should not issue an arrest warrant where a summons would be just as effective in making sure the person goes to court.

    Police powers: Your rights in Victoria.

    Hope that answers your question.

    • Like Like x 2
  3. Ask them "am I free to go"? If they say yes then you are not detained.
  4. Been told by a cop friend in NZ, and in Victoria.

    "Long enough to ascertain that you are who you say you are."
  5. Thanks guys. The story i was told is there is a time limit on how long they can hold you without formally placing you under arrest.

    For example i was told the limit is 20 mins and you can ask if you're under arrest, if not then you're free to leave and they can't stop you. Is there any truth to that
  6. Thanks guys. The story i was told is there is a time limit on how long they can hold you without formally placing you under arrest.

    For example i was told the limit is 20 mins and you can ask if you're under arrest, if not then you're free to leave and they can't stop you. Is there any truth to that
  7. Judging by the tags for this thread, if you're not grabbing your ankles within 5 mins after handing over your license for a check, you can be on your merry way
  8. Some cops need longer than others bro
  9. Don't know about the 20 min thing, but if dissatisfied with a preliminary breath test can detain you for 3 hours so as to conduct a breath analysis in booze bus etc.

    Road Safety Act 1986 - SECT 55

  10. No time limit. It depends on the situation as to the legislation involved but if the police have cause to stop a person and request certain information, then they are obliged to provide that information. If they refuse then they can arrest the person. Now remember, I mentioned "cause".

    This can vary from simply requiring their details as a driver as they were found driving / riding, through to asking a person their name and address as they were suspected of a crime.

    This link gives a simplified version: http://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/cl.police_powers.pdf

    Look at page 6. There is no reference to time limit. It is dependent on how long it takes you to provide the information and for them to varify it.

    Also on an off topic note, where it states that you can adk the police officer for their details, it leaves out the bit that this is after they asked for your details. You can't just walk up to an officer and demand their details and expect them to provide them to you. :D

    I hope that helped.
  11. If it doesn't come with instructions.......
  12. The story is just that. There is no truth to it.

  13. Awesome, thanks for clearing that up.
    So if they want to waste our time with bullshit license and road worthy checks we have to put up with it.
  14. John 8:32.
  15. Ezekiel ;)
  16. Yay varily. 8-[
  17. Just to clarify. They can't detain you, they can ask you to come back for a Breath Test but you can refuse or leave at any time. But that just opens another can of worms for you.
  18. Thanks 5
  19. Thanks 665. :) Admittedly I read "require to remain" as akin to being detained, detained has something of a slightly different meaning then I'm guessing? Opening another can of worms doesn't sound very enticing :eek:
  20. depends... if they pulled you over for a fender eliminator then you deserve to be arrested and held indefinately; you know how dangerous those bloody things are! someone please think of the children!