When can the police stop me?

A police officer can stop and ask you questions at any time, but unless they are arresting you, detaining you to investigate you for a crime, or writing you a ticket, they must let you go if you do not want to talk with them. Ask – Am I free to go? Ask – Why are you […]

Do I have to give my name and address?

There are some situations where you must tell the police your name and address. An example is when you are driving a car or bicycle and the police stop you. Other times, you have no legal obligation to give your name and address, but there is a risk that you may be charged with obstructing justice if the […]

How do I know if I am detained by the police?

Detention is when the police lawfully hold you by taking away your freedom, making it so you cannot walk away. You can be physically and/or psychologically detained by the police. This means that you do not need to be handcuffed or placed in the backseat of a police cruiser to be detained. If you are no longer free […]

Can I be detained for any reason?

The police may only detain you if they believe that you are connected to a recent or ongoing criminal offence and that detaining you is necessary. Your detention should be as brief as possible. If there is not a clear connection between you and the crime, then the police officer may be detaining you “arbitrarily” (without good reason). […]

Getting arrested?

An arrest by an officer could include any of the following: they inform you that you’re under arrest they touch you in a way that exerts some force they create a situation where you are unable to leave If you are arrested, the police are required to notify your parent(s) whether you want them to […]

What are my rights when being detained or arrested?

The police must tell you of your rights immediately upon detention. The police must tell you why you are being detained, and that you can get legal advice from a lawyer. If you don’t know why you are being detained, you should ask, “why am I being detained?” You can tell the police that you do not […]

When can I be searched by the police?

The police may only search you in four situations: If the police have a search warrant; If you are being detained and investigated by the police for a criminal offence (safety search only); If you are being arrested by the police for allegedly committing offence; and/or If you give your permission to the police. Search […]

Do not physically resist being searched

If you don’t want the police to search you, you should tell them that you do not consent to the search. However, even if you believe that the police are illegally detaining or searching you, you should not resist. If you physically resist, you may be charged with resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer.

Statements to the police

The most important piece of advice that a lawyer will give you is to not make statements to the police. The police can record anything you say. The police are also allowed to use tricks, such as lying to you, in order to convince you to provide a statement. It can be a stressful and intimidating […]

Your rights violated?

If you believe that a police officer has violated your rights or acted improperly, you should collect as much information about the incident as possible and speak to a lawyer for advice. See section on Police Complaints.