• Get support from friends, family or youth services
  • Get legal advice
  • Deal with fines
  • Show up to court dates


  • Give up or feel powerless – there are people who can help you
  • Ignore fines
  • Miss court dates

On this page

I’ve received a fine

Don’t ignore it. If you don’t take action with a fine, then you can end up with a large debt, or the sheriff taking your property. You can even end up in jail.

Fines are a common problem that legal services can help with and you can find information online about fines and your options.

You may be able to apply to have your fines or costs reduced or revoked (cancelled) if you are:

  • Under 18
  • Homeless
  • Have an intellectual disability or mental illness
  • Have a drug or alcohol addiction

If you meet any of these criteria, you should get legal advice.

I’ve had my stuff confiscated

If your property is illegal, then it will most likely be destroyed and it won’t be returned to you. If it is being used as evidence then you should be able to get it back later.

Police and PSOs usually have to make a record of any searches and the property they take during a search. If they don’t give you a receipt at the time, you can ask to see a copy of a search record later but remember there is usually a time limit of one year to apply.

It’s also a good idea to ask authorities why they are confiscating something of yours, and when you can expect it back. Try to take note of the officer’s name or ID number or badge number if they take your property, as those details may help you find out when you can get your property back.

Police want me to go to the police station

Police might contact you and want you to come to a police station. They may want to talk to you because you’re a witness, or they may suspect you have committed a crime.

If police don’t arrest you, then you don’t have to go. However, if you are a suspect then they might come and arrest you and take you back to the station anyway, and it might be better for you to go on your own terms.

If you’re a witness, you don’t have to go to the station if you don’t want to. Even if you don’t go to the station or make a statement, a court might call you in to give evidence at a later date and if that happens, you will have to go to court.

If you’re not sure what you should do, get legal advice.

I’ve been taken to the police station

If you’re taken to the police station, then police will usually explain why. If police want to interview at the station about a crime they think you’ve committed, they must allow you to speak with a lawyer first. You should get advice from the lawyer about what to say to police in the interview and if you don’t have a lawyer, police can find one for you who can give you free and confidential advice.

If you think you were held in a police station unfairly, then please get legal advice.

I have to go to court

If you have to go to court, it is best to get legal advice before the court date.

Police want me to be a witness

Police may ask you to give evidence as a witness to a crime they think someone else has committed. If that happens, they will ask for your name and address and you must give them your details.

If you are happy to be a witness, then you will be asked to provide a statement at a police station, and you may be summonsed to appear in court at a later date.

If you don’t want to be a witness you don’t have to give police a statement or provide them with any further information. However, you may still be required to give evidence at court. If that happens, you have to go to court but you can get legal advice if you are worried about what you should do or say.

I’ve been injured by authorities

If you have an injury caused by an authority, it’s important to take photos of the injury straight away, and to see a doctor. It doesn’t matter how minor the injury is; you should do both of these things as quickly as possible. Try to keep any photos or doctor’s reports in a safe place where you can find them later. Try to remember the last person you saw before you were injured and keep track of their contact details as you may need a statement from them later.

After this, get legal advice on how to make a complaint.

I want to make a complaint

If you feel you’ve been unfairly treated, you’re able to make a complaint. Making a complaint can be difficult and it may have an impact on any cases running against you at the moment.

If you want to make a complaint, it’s a good idea to get legal advice.