Being arrested or detained by the police can be an incredibly stressful experience for both you and your loved ones. However, if this happens, it’s important to understand your rights and the proper way to act to ensure you deal with the situation as effectively as possible. So, what are your rights in this situation?
What Are My Rights When I Am Under Arrest?
The Canadian Charter Of Rights & Freedoms establishes several rights you have even when under arrest. These rights cannot be interfered with, and are upholdable across all of Canada, including Ontario.
The Right To Remain Silent
Perhaps the most notorious right somebody has when being arrested, the right to remain silent extends further than its depiction in the media. If you’re arrested, it’s your constitutional right to remain as silent as you wish, and nobody, not even the police, can force you to break this silence.
The Right To Know Why You Are Being Arrested
If you’re arrested or detained by the police, then you have the right to know why. While it’s advisable that you approach the arresting officer with a calm and reasonable tone, it’s your constitutional right to be told what grounds they have for arresting you.
The Right To Legal Counsel
It is the legal right of anyone being arrested or detained to hire a lawyer or another form of legal aid. Furthermore, it’s your right to be told about your options for legal counsel, including duty counsel, in the case that you don’t already have a lawyer. It’s advised that you contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible, and nobody can deny you this right.
The Right To Speak Privately With Your Lawyer
In the same way that you have a right to contact your lawyer as soon as possible, you also have the right to speak privately with your legal counsel at their earliest possible convenience. Upon your request, you can be left alone with only your criminal lawyer to discuss your case, and nobody is allowed to record or otherwise interfere with this conversation.
The Right To Be Released From Unlawful Detention
If your detention is found to be unlawful in any way, then you have the right to an immediate release. This concept is known as ‘Habeas Corpus’, a right protecting you from both unlawful and indefinite imprisonment.
Are My Rights Different If I Am Under The Age Of 18?
In Canada, you have criminal responsibility from the age of 12, meaning you can be arrested. However, if you are aged 18 or under, the police have a legal responsibility to treat you differently as you have additional rights.
Along with the rights already outlined in this blog, any person aged 18 or under has the right to contact their parents or guardians, along with having their parents or guardians present when questioned. This does not interfere with your right to have a lawyer present, as you’re legally permitted to contact both and have both your parents and your lawyer present.
What About If I Was Charged With An Offense? Do I Still Have Rights?
Your legal rights don’t stop just because you’re charged with a crime. If you do find yourself charged with an offence, the following constitutional rights are still available to you:
The Right To A Fair Trial
Anyone charged with a crime has the right to plead their case, and to be judged fairly within the confines of Canadian law. It’s also a person’s right for this trial to be held within a reasonable time frame after being initially charged.
The Right To Be Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty
The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is not only a Canadian constitutional right but also an international human right under the UN, of which Canada is a founding member. Any treatment of somebody charged with a crime should be done with the assumption that they’re innocent until they’re proven by a public and impartial tribunal to be guilty.
The Right To Not Be Denied Bail Without Reasonable Cause
The constitution dictates that anyone charged with a crime should not be denied bail unless it’s determined that the police or judiciary system have reasonable and just cause to keep them detained.
The Right To Not Testify At One’s Own Trial
If you are charged with an offence, and the proceedings go to trial, you do not have to testify if you choose not to. Your initial right to remain silent extends through the entire legal proceedings, as nobody can legally force you to speak.
If You Are Facing A Criminal Charge And Are In Need Of A Lawyer, Call Baker Doodnauth.
If you’re looking for legal representation for yourself or a loved one in Newmarket, Ontario or the surrounding areas, then Baker Doodnauth is a firm of Newmarket criminal lawyers here to provide a high-quality service. We’re a Newmarket law firm that’s willing to provide legal advice and representation to every client looking to settle their case.
We have a vast amount of experience dealing with cases regarding criminal charges. So, if you need a criminal lawyer or a family lawyer, then don’t hesitate to contact Baker Doodnauth today!