If you are stopped by the police for suspected impaired driving, or the police show up at your home and want to do a search, do you know your legal rights? Knowing these can be beneficial when dealing with the police.
Oftentimes, most people want to cooperate and openly share information in hopes that this will benefit them should they be charged with a crime. However, doing so could hurt their defense later by volunteering information or allowing the police to conduct searches.
Essentially, they could be providing evidence against themselves. While you should always be respectful of the police, you do have specific rights that limit what information you have to share, as well as the right to object to certain searches.
The Right to Remain Silent
One of the most important legal rights you should always remember is you have the right to remain silent. This right means you do not have to answer any questions posed to you by the police. You can simply say “no comment” and the police must accept this as your answer.
Speaking to the police means that anything you say to them could potentially be used against you later in court. Furthermore, if you provide false or misleading statements, these too can be used against you later and result in an obstruction charge.
The Right to Refuse Searches
The police do have the right to conduct searches without your consent or a warrant for specific situations, like a pat-down to ensure officer safety, or a visual search of your vehicle after being stopped.
For other situations, the police must either obtain your consent for the search or obtain a search warrant. A search warrant is equally limited to the scope of the warrant. For instance, if the warrant authorizes the police to search your garage for stolen goods, then that is the only location in the home they can search without obtaining another warrant or your consent.
The Right to Refuse Entry into Your Home
Unless the police have a search warrant for your home, you do not have to invite them in. You can legally refuse entry into your home. Should you invite the police in, keep in mind they do have the right to conduct visual searches in the home.
The Right to Legal Representation
Upon being arrested and charged with a criminal offence, you have the right to legal representation. The police must allow you to contact a criminal defence lawyer in Brampton of your choosing or appoint one to you. The right to legal representation is guaranteed under Section Ten of the Canadian Charter of Rights.
In the event, you are arrested and charged with a criminal offence and believe the police violated your rights in some manner, be sure to inform your criminal defence lawyer. For legal representation for criminal offences, including impaired driving, thefts, and drug offences, please feel free to contact Brampton criminal defence lawyer, Manbir Singh Sodhi as soon as possible by calling (905) 457-2546 today!