If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime, don’t be convicted by your own words. Remain silent and call a criminal lawyer who will speak for you.
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Don’t Be Convicted By Your Own Words. Remain Silent and Call a Criminal Lawyer
Your Right to Remain Silent if Detained or Arrested
In Canada, under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you have the right to remain silent if you are arrested or otherwise detained by law enforcement, and officers must inform you of this right. Whereas some people think that remaining silent makes them look guilty, this is not the case. People are presumed to be innocent until they are found guilty based on all of the evidence; however, this evidence can contain any incriminating statements you may purposely or accidentally make to the police.
The fundamental purpose of the right to remain silent is to prevent you, as a suspect, from hurting your case because anything said to police can be used against you in court. However, if police fail to respect this right, then any evidence gathered would be inadmissible in court.
To protect your interests, it is highly recommended to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced and skilled lawyers are here to help you navigate the oftentimes complicated legal landscape concerning individual rights.
Do I have to talk to the police?
You are not obligated to provide any information to the police or help during a criminal investigation. If you are unsure whether you are required to cooperate with the police and provide information, or how much information you must provide, you should consult with an experienced criminal defence attorney who can advise you regarding your rights and what information you need, or do not need, to provide to police.
Ask the police if you have to speak to them. If not, ask to leave. If you do speak to the police, make sure you are respectful and polite. They are simply doing their job.
Can I lie to the police?
While you have the right to remain silent, you may not lie to law enforcement. Knowingly lying to police can result in an obstruction charge. Further, if you are charged with an offence and lie to the police, this may harm your legal defence.
Exceptions to the right to remain silent
Generally, you are not obligated to provide any information to the police. However, there are some cases in which you must provide information, and doing so does not violate your rights.
These exceptions include:
Providing your name, address, and date of birth if you are arrested
Providing relevant information in case of an automobile accident in which you are the driver and/or registered owner of an involved vehicle
Adhering to any laws and regulations which govern a regulated activity
Meeting with police after the fact
Under certain circumstances, the police may request to meet with you at your home, place of work, or the police station. In some cases, police are just looking for information or evidence, but, in other cases, you may already be the subject of an investigation and/or officers may have already secured an arrest warrant and are planning on taking you into custody.
While you cannot lie to the police, the police may stretch the truth in order to get you to incriminate yourself or meet with them.
That said, if the police request to meet with you, you should consult with a lawyer before doing so. If you meet with police and are subsequently detained or arrested, then inform the police that you wish to consult with an attorney immediately which is also your right.
Our criminal lawyers are here to help
It is important to remember that anything you say to a police officer at any time may be used against you. Remaining silent and speaking to a lawyer does not automatically make you look guilty. It is your right.
Our skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced criminal attorneys are well-equipped to advise you of your rights and help you avoid or lessen any potential self-incrimination.