KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Know Your Rights
WHEN CAN POLICE SEARCH YOU?
-If they reasonably believe you have on your person illegal drugs/alcohol or weapons (restricted / prohibited
weapons, or weapon [used to commit a crime] that may be removed / destroyed before police can get a warrant)
-If they reasonably believe you have committed, or are about to commit an (indictable) offence
-If they have a search warrant, or if you consent to the search
-If they are searching you incidental to your arrest
-If they’ve temporarily detained you for investigation (as they reasonably suspect you’re connected to a crime), they can give you a quick pat-down / frisk to search for weapons if they reasonably believe their safety is at risk
WHEN CAN POLICE ARREST YOU?
-If they find you committing an (indictable or summary) offence
-if they reasonably believe you have committed, or are about to commit an (indictable) offence
-if they have a warrant for your arrest
WHAT HAPPENS UPON YOUR ARREST (OR DETENTION)?
-If police don’t arrest you, or don't have grounds for detaining you, they must let you go on your way;
to find out if you’re under arrest/detention, you can ask the officer “am I under arrest?”
-If you’re detained or under arrest, police must tell you the reasons why, and advise you of your right to counsel (and then provide you with an opportunity to do so, before they continue to question you)
-You have a RIGHT TO SILENCE, meaning you don’t have to answer any questions the police ask you¤; in fact, it is often best to avoid answering questions as any statements you give may be used as evidence against you
-If police request your name/address or identification, you generally needn’t produce it¤¤
¤Exception to the right to silence is that, under the HTA, if you’ve been involved in a car accident and police question you about the accident, you could be charged with an offence if you refuse to answer. Also, false/deceitful answers could lead to further charges.
¤¤Exceptions to this general rule: (1) if you’re pulled over while driving, you must present your licence, registration and insurance (pursuant to the HTA and CAIA); (2) if police want to give you a ticket or appearance notice (e.g. for J-walking, running red light while riding your bike), you must provide them with your ID info- refusal (or lying) may result in charges for obstructing police.
DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is for informational purposes only. The information does not create a solicitor-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice. No representations are made as to accuracy and/or completeness of this information. This information is not intended to be relied upon, nor is it a substitute for legal advice. Daniel Freudman is not liable for loss or damage of any sort that may arise from reliance upon any information contained herein.
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