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How Long Can Police Keep a Person in Custody without Charge in NSW?

Police can generally keep an arrested person in custody for 6 hours in New South Wales, or an additional 6 hours if an authorised officer such as a magistrate or registrar grants a detention warrant.

This 6 hour investigation period does not include ‘time outs’, such as the time it takes to get to the police station, go through the charging process, communicate with a lawyer, obtain medical attention, await specialist staff or recording facilities, or carry out forensic procedures.

For terrorism charges, police can apply for a preventative detention order which, if granted, allows them to keep a person in custody for 14 days before releasing or charging them.

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