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Out On Your Own: Your Rights

Resources to support you as you complete the Out On Your Own course

brown wooden smoking pipe on white surface

Source: Tingey Injury Law Firm (2020)

When you go out into the world it is important to know your rights when it comes to the law. Click through the tabs below to learn more.

Do you know what to do when dealing with the police? Are security guards at shopping centres allowed to search you? What are some of the most common crimes affecting young people? All these questions and more are answered in the following resources, teaching you your rights and responsibilities when it comes to crime and law enforcement.

How to deal with the police (Youth Central, n.d.)

If you find yourself - for whatever reason - interacting with the police, it's important to know your rights and responsibilities. This article gives you some very brief advice about your rights when it comes to the police.

Police powers and my rights (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

This article goes through what the police have the right to do or not do when you interacting with you, and gives you advice on how to deal with the police in a number of situations.

Young people and the police (Victoria Legal Aid, n.d.)

Laws that apply to adults also apply to people aged between 10 and 17. However, in some circumstances the police must treat young people differently. This includes if police want to:

  • interview you
  • take your fingerprints
  • take your photo
  • take samples from your body, such as saliva or blood.

This website has in-depth information on your rights as a young person if you are interacting with the police.

Bouncers and security guards (Youth Law, n.d.)

This fact sheet discusses what bouncers, security guards and loss prevention officers can and cannot do.

Ticket inspectors (Street Smart Vic, n.d.)

Ticket Inspectors, also called Authorised Officers, have special powers if they’re on a bus, train or tram or at a public transport stop or station. This website walks you through what they can and cannot do and your rights when dealing with them.

Victim rights (Youth Central, n.d.)

If you have been a victim of crime, you have rights, you are not alone and do not need to endure the pain and trauma alone. On this page you can learn about support services you can call for help and information - and about your rights as a victim of crime.

Getting into trouble on social media (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

Did you know that even if you post something under a fake name, police may be able to figure out your identity? Or that police may set up fake online accounts and add people as friends to look at their profiles? Nothing is ever completely private online, even after you delete it. Find out in this article how posts on social networking sites can be used as evidence against you.

Sexting (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

Lots of people sext, but you should think carefully about it before you do. The only way to be completely legally safe when sexting is for both people to be over 18 and to consent. Remember that once an image or video is shared, it is very hard to control how it is used after that. If a sext is sent without someone’s consent, or if a sext is threatening or harassing, then it can be serious. This article walks you through some of the consequences.

Image-based abuse (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

It is never OK to take, send, share or post a nude, sexual or other intimate picture or video (sometimes called ‘nudes’) of someone online without their permission, or to threaten to do so. This is called image-based abuse (sometimes known as ‘revenge porn’) and it’s a crime. This article discusses the consequences of this crime and what to do if you are a victim of image based abuse.

Cyberbullying (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

Cyberbullying is where someone bullies another person online (e.g. on a social networking site) or by sending emails or messages using a phone or computer. Cyberbullying can cause serious problems for everyone involved, and in some cases it can be a crime. This article describes all the crimes you could be charged with if you are cyberbullying.

Learn all about Australia and Victoria's legal systems and what happens when you go to court with these great resources.

Learn about Victoria's legal system (Victoria Law Foundation, n.d.)

This website helps you understand how Victoria’s legal sector works. It explains which laws apply in Victoria and who’s who in the legal sector. It will also point you in the direction of other resources if you want to know more.

The youth justice system (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

Find out about the youth justice system, including warnings and cautions.

Victoria Legal Aid

Victoria Legal Aid provides legal aid to anyone in the community who needs it, in an efficient and affordable way. You can also call them on 1300 792 387.

Going to court for a criminal charge (Legal Aid, n.d.)

Being at court for criminal charges is serious. You can get a criminal record and serious penalties, so get legal advice as soon as possible. This website walks you through the basics of going to court for a criminal charge, and links to other resources you might need.

Fines for under 18s (Youth Law, n.d.)

Got a fine? If you were under 18 when you received the fine, you have a few options. This fact sheet explains these options.

Find out what your rights and responsibilities are when it comes to contracts, and how to avoid a contracts that aren't right for you.

Contracts (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

Contracts happen every day in life. For many contracts you probably won’t even know you’ve entered into one. For example when you go to the corner store to buy a litre of milk – that’s a contract. In this article you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions about contracts.

Phone and phone plans (Youth Central, n.d.)

It's pretty easy to get a phone, right? You sign up for a plan, they send you the handset and you start using it. It's important to know what you're signing up for, though. A lot of people don't look closely at their phone contracts and as a result end up paying more than they expected to. This article walks you through everything you need to know about phone plans and contracts.

Phone contracts and buying a mobile phone (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

The mobile phone contract is the official record of your agreement with the phone company that says what you and the phone company agree to do and not to do. Phone contracts are ‘standard-form contracts’ This means that the contract has been prepared by the phone company, and you can’t negotiate or change any part of it. Therefore, it is important that you shop around and find the right contract that suits your personal needs. This article walks you through everything you need to know about mobile phone contracts.

Car insurance (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

In Victoria, it’s against the law to drive a car or motorbike unless you have paid for compulsory third party insurance (CTP insurance).   Because your CTP insurance is part of your registration, you can’t register your car without paying for the CTP insurance. If you are driving unregistered and without CTP insurance, you could be fined over $777.30!   Don’t risk it – make sure your car is registered and has CTP insurance. Other types of insurance are optional, like third party property insurance and comprehensive insurance are optional. This means you don’t have to get them but it’s still a good idea. This article walks you through the different types of car insurance available and how to use them.

So you’ve decided it’s time to spread your wings and move out of home. Congratulations! Maybe you’re moving out to go to uni, or maybe you’re just ready for independence. Whatever the reason, however, taking that first (or second) leap out of the nest can be daunting. There’s plenty to consider when moving out of home, the following resources should help make it a little easier.

Moving out: what you need to know (Youth Central, n.d.)

Moving out on your own or with others requires some planning and setting up. You need to have a good idea of how much money you can spend on essentials like rent and food.  And then there’s setting up a home such as buying furniture and getting the lights and heating on. If you’re thinking or planning to move out then this website has all the information you need.

When can I leave home or move out? (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

The law does not set a minimum age for leaving home.  This means that if you have your parents’ permission and a safe place to go, you can leave home. The law does say that your parents have a responsibility to look after your needs including making sure you have a home, food and water until you are 18 so  if you don’t have permission from your parents and you are under 18, what happens and whether you have to go home depends entirely on your personal situation.  This article explains some common situations.

Renting (Youth Law Australia, n.d.)

This article provides an in-depth look at all the legalities involved with moving out, including how to move out when you're under 18, your responsibilities as a tenant and how to handle landlords that breach the law.

Paying rent (Flatmates, n.d.)

This article gives you a full guide on what rent is, how it's paid, and some of the protections in place for both you as a renter and your landlord.

Seven tips for moving out of home (Domain, 2015, December 7)

This article lists seven great tips for moving out of home and into your first ever rental property.

Moving out of home (Money Smart, n.d.)

This guide from Money Smart gives a great overview of some of the costs involved with moving out and some of the things to think about when choosing to move out.

Rental bonds and leases (Money Smart, n.d.)

Renting your own place means choosing where you live and who you live with. Know what to do when you sign up for a place, and where to get help if you're having issues. This article walks you through some of the things to look out for when signing a lease and how to protect yourself.

Your rights as a tenant (Youth Central, n.d.)

This website looks at your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and what to do if you're facing discrimination. 

How to look for a place to rent (Youth Central, n.d.)

When looking for a place to rent, it helps to work out what you're looking for. Once that's sorted, you can think about where to go looking for what you want. This article gives you advice on how to find the perfect rental property for you.

Signing a lease (Youth Central, n.d.)

A lease, also known as a Residential Tenancy Agreement, states what you agree to do while you're a tenant and what the landlord to agrees to do as the owner of the property. Agreements can be verbal or written, however a written document is the best way to make sure everyone understands their rights and obligations. This article walks you through everything you need to know about signing a lease.

Tenants Victoria

Tenants Victoria aims to inform and educate tenants about their rights, improve conditions for tenants, improve the status of tenants and represent the collective interests of tenants in law and policy making. It's a great place to find Victoria specific rental advice.