As a Canadian citizen, you have certain legal rights when charged, arrested or detained. For example, a person charged with an offence has the right to have a trail and seek legal assistance. If you’re arrested or detained in Alberta or anywhere in Canada, you are innocent unless the prosecutor adequately proves that you’re guilty. You also have the right to get bail prior to being tried in court or sentenced. If you’re arrested or detained, it’s crucial to understand your rights.
Your rights when arrested
If you’re arrested, the police should read you your basic rights such as the right to consult a lawyer or right to remain silent. When it comes to the right to remain silent, this means you can refuse to answer any questions asked by the police. However, you’re supposed to identify yourself by providing your basic information such as your name, date of birth and address. Whether you should be released on bail or remain in custody is determined during your bail hearing.
After you’re arrested, you should be taken before a justice of the peace or judge as soon as possible. In some cases, it takes longer to present the accused before a judge based on the day of the week someone is taken into custody. A hearing can be delayed due to certain reasons. It’s also important to consider that the bail hearing determines whether or not you should be released; it doesn’t mean you will be released.
After being charged
Once you’re charged, you should be informed about the charges against you. However, it’s not necessary for the police to strictly use the legal language to describe why you’re arrested or detained, but the police must use simple and clear language.
Detention vs arrest
Most people don’t clearly understand the difference between being detained and arrested. You’re detained when the police limit your liberty. For example, you’re being detained when you’re driving your car and the police ask you to pull over. A police officer may ask you a few questions or request a breathalyzer in case the officer believes you’re driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In this case, you’re not arrested but detained. The police may place you under arrest for DUI, for instance, if found driving impaired.
Entering private residence to make an arrest
It’s necessary to have a warrant or judge’s written authorization in order for the police to enter a private residence to make a search or arrest. However, a warrant to enter a dwelling-house is not needed in certain circumstances; for example, when a suspect hides in a house during a police pursuit.
No matter what your situation is, whether arrested or detained, you have the right to talk to a criminal lawyer to know your options. If you’re located in Edmonton, Alberta or surrounding area and arrested for DUI or any other crime, talk to one of our criminal defence lawyers at Slaferek Callihoo Law. You can schedule a free consultation right now. Visit our website for more information.