Accounting for Law

What are your rights when you are detained or arrested: Pt. 2

By Joseph Neuberger

If you have been arrested or detained by the police, it can be difficult to know where you stand. Especially for individuals with no previous history of interactions with the police, the process can be overwhelming.

While there are limitations as to a person’s ability to make decisions and act on them during the arrest or detainment process, there are certain rights that all Canadians are entitled to while in police custody. 

Resisting arrest

If you are being arrested, it is important not to resist. While the Criminal Code does provide the right to resist an unlawful arrest by taking reasonable actions to defend yourself, the police may still pursue the arrest. If the court determines that the process was lawful, you are at risk of being charged with additional offences including assaulting a peace officer, obstructing the police, and assault with the intent to resist arrest.

Your right to a lawyer

One of the most critical steps following a detainment or arrest is to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Under police custody, you have the right to counsel, which means that you are entitled to ask to speak to a lawyer and to be granted access to one. You may choose which lawyer you wish to speak with and are entitled to seek representation through an interpreter if need be.

Once you have requested to speak to a lawyer, you may stop responding to questioning. You have the right to remain silent unless you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident. In such a case, you may be obligated to provide a statement for an accident report.

Contacting a skilled criminal lawyer is the first step in working towards protecting your interests. Given the complex nature of the criminal justice system, having a knowledgeable lawyer representing you is imperative. By taking the time to understand the details of your case and carefully reviewing the facts, a lawyer can help you work towards moving forward.

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