Arrest and Right to Silence
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, or the police have called you in for questioning – get legal advice from an experienced criminal lawyer immediately.
It is generally not a good idea to give up the right to silence until or unless you have retained legal counsel.
Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms you are protected against arbitrary and unreasonable exercises of police power – as in illegal searches or unlawful intrusion into your privacy.
Being arrested or questioned by the police is a stressful situation. Out of your fear and confusion you may misstate things. It is best to rely on your right to keep silent until you’ve met with your criminal lawyer and obtained the best legal advice you can find.
Generally, you will not talk your way out of being charged or released on bail. The decision to charge you or not is based on the evidence that the police gather. The easiest way for the police to collect evidence against you is to get you to talk to them. If the police want to talk to you, they probably are looking for a confession or for you to implicate yourself or provide further evidence they do not have.
You don’t have to talk to the police. You do not have to give in to their pressure to provide information once you have been charged with a criminal offence.
Right to Silence
This is referred to in Canadian criminal law as the right to silence. It is a principle of fundamental justice guaranteed by Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Anything that you say may find its way before the Courts as evidence against you. But don’t think that you will be able to have a Court consider your explanation to the police by making a statement. The rules of evidence are such that statements favourable to the accused in a criminal trial rarely get before the Court, but incriminating or vague or ambiguous statements are often used against you in Court.
Facing Criminal Charges?
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, Maureen Currie will vigorously defend you. Maureen Currie is an experienced criminal lawyer, who has represented individuals charged with criminal offences in Milton, Mississauga, Hamilton, Georgetown, Burlington, Guelph, the Niagara Region and throughout Ontario.