In Queensland, there are 2 types of criminal offences:
- Simple offences (or summary offences). These can include disorderly behaviour, traffic offences and minor criminal offences.
- Crimes and misdemeanours (or indictable offences). For example, murder, rape, robbery, assault, and break and enter.
The maximum penalty for an allegation of assault occasioning bodily harm is seven years imprisonment, but this can be increased to ten years imprisonment if the offender had, or pretended to have, a weapon or was in the company of other people. With the prospect of such a long prison term it is not worth the risk of undertaking your own defence. If charged with a serious crime, seek legal representation immediately.
Australia still has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty and it is the job of the Prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
Therefore take advantage of your right to remain silent until your legal representative arrives. Anything a person says to police, whether in a formal interview or not, may be used in evidence against that person at their trial.
You may refuse to partake in an interview with police, however, it is an offence to withhold your name and address from police when requested.