These are your rights if you are arrested or detained in Ontario

hands in handcuffs

Oct 18, 2016

If you are arrested or detained by police in Ontario, you have rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. When you are arrested you legally must be told the reason for your arrest, be read your rights, told that you have the right to speak to and instruct counsel without delay and you should be told about Legal Aid and your entitlement to free legal advice.

As soon as you have been arrested or detained you should speak with a lawyer, they will instruct you how to navigate your criminal charges. 

What happens when you are arrested and your rights if you are arrested

When you are first arrested or detained by the police, there are a number of actions they must take in order to establish your rights. You must be:

  • read your rights – told why you have been arrested or detained
  • told that you have the right hire and receive counsel; from a lawyer
  • told about Legal Aid, duty counsel and your right to free legal advice
  • Told that you can speak privately to your lawyer, immediately

If you are a minor, under 18 years of age, you are allowed to both contact your parents and a lawyer. Your parents are allowed to be with you when you speak with police.  

Once you are arrested, you will be taken into custody, then transferred to a holding cell. The next morning you will be taken to see the justice of peace to determine the necessity of a bail hearing.

Questions from the police

Police are investigators of crime, it is their job to ask questions in relation to that crime. You cannot be forced to answer questions from the police, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say to police could be used against you later in court.

First, determine if the arrest was lawful. When making an arrest police should identify themselves, tell you you’re being arrested, tell you why you are being arrested and if there is a warrant it should be shown to you.

Police rights after an arrest

Once police have arrested you, they do have the right to search you. Again, police are investigating a crime, they may search you for evidence or for weapons or paraphernalia you may be carrying.

If you have been arrested, detained or charged in Niagara, consult with one of the Niagara Criminal lawyers of St. Catharines law firm, Chown Cairns. Our team has been recognized for their quality experience and approach. Learn more by clicking below.

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