In Canada, the police’s major role is to preserve order in society, or ‘keep the peace’ among individuals within a community. Overall, the two primary responsibilities of the Canadian police include keeping people safe and enforcing the law. The authorities can arrest you for possible criminal charges, including impaired driving, assault offences, drug offences, forgery, theft, fraud, and others.
This article will shed light on significant implications of when you have to deal with the local police. We will provide answers to some frequently asked questions when dealing with the authorities to help you with your pre-charge process:
When Can The Police Lawfully Search Me Or My Property?
First, the police can search you if you give them informed consent, or voluntarily search of you or your property. Second, they can conduct a search if they have a reason to believe that you were driving dangerously, have illegal substances or a weapon on you, assaulted someone, or have been involved in theft, forgery, fraud, or other criminal offence.
What Are My Rights While Interacting With The Police?
First, you have the right to remain silent when asked by the authorities, which can protect you from making self-incriminating statements after being arrested or detained. It’s best to exercise your right to counsel or talk to a criminal defence lawyer in this case.
Another right which you can exercise is to ask the police to inform you of the reason for your arrest or detainment. You can also ask for your right to retain and instruct legal counsel upon your arrest without any further delay.
Can I Make An “Off The Record” Statement To The Police?
No, there’s no such thing as a “off the record” statement while talking to the authorities. Anything you utter in front of the police is considered as “on the record,” except things said before you’re given your right to counsel, which might not be admissible in the court during your trial.
Always ensure you seek legal guidance from your criminal defence attorney when charged with a criminal offence and avoid making any statements to the police at all costs.
Can It Make Me Look Guilty If I Refuse To Provide A Statement To The Police?
Generally, many people, accused of committing a crime, believe that it would suggest they have something to hide or are guilty if they remain silent while being in custody. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees every Canadian citizen the right to remain silent, and that the police cannot draw any adverse inferences from it.
A dedicated criminal lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities when talking to the police. They can also assist you in navigating the complicated process of addressing and resolving your criminal charges.
What Should I Do If The Authorities Are Investigating Me?
If you believe you’re a suspect in a criminal investigation, first, you need to understand the full scope of your case. At this stage, try to gather as much information as possible, and say as little as possible. The best way to deal with this situation is to write down information, like the investigator’s name, badge number, and contact number, and then tell them that you’ll get back to them within a reasonable time.
Before agreeing to participate in an investigation, it’s strongly advised to call your criminal defence lawyer for assistance.