Upon arrest for a criminal offence, the police are required by law to read you your rights. Part of these rights is the right to remain silent and not answer any questions or be interviewed by the police without proper legal representation.
It is essential that you remain silent. If you choose to speak to the police and answer questions or be interviewed without a criminal defence lawyer present, anything you say can be used against you later in Court.
An extension of this right many people are unaware of is the right to remain silent BEFORE arrest. You do not have to answer general inquiries or questions during a police investigation. You can politely decline to answer questions. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of cooperating with the investigation, only to find themselves being charged for the crime later.
Again, if you think you are a suspect, it is better to remain silent and consult with a criminal defence lawyer. Your lawyer can advise you on what to do. They can also arrange to be present for any police questioning prior to an arrest. After being arrested, follow these steps:
Step 1: Contact a criminal defence lawyer.
The police must allow you to call a criminal defence lawyer or provide access to a public defender. This is your right. You can make multiple phone calls if necessary, to get into contact with the lawyer, not just one, which is another misconception.
Step 2: Request a consultation where you are being detained.
It is never a good idea to get into details about the circumstances of your charges over the phone. Rather, it is better to let the lawyer know where you are being detained and wait for them to come see you. The police must provide a private room, free of listening devices, one-way mirrors, and other monitoring equipment for you to meet with your lawyer.
Step 3: Follow your lawyer’s recommendations.
Your lawyer will make recommendations based on what is in your best interests. Listen to your lawyer, they often have numerous years of criminal law expertise, understand the legal system, and criminal proceedings.
Step 4: Get assistance with your bail hearing from your lawyer.
Most people who have a criminal defence lawyer present at their bail hearing are able to secure bail. Your lawyer can also contact a friend or family member to serve as surety if the Court requires one.
After your release on bail, you will want to adhere to all conditions of the release. You will want to schedule an appointment to meet with your lawyer at their office to start preparing your defence to the charges.
Most importantly, being arrested can be stressful. However, if you remain calm and remember your rights, you can potentially have a better outcome. If you have been charged with a criminal offence in the GTA, you need to speak to Toronto criminal defence lawyer, Graham Zoppi right away. Call (416) 873-6970 now to schedule a consultation and get the legal representation you need.