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What are my rights if the police approach me and ask questions?
Clear language definitions to common legal terms.
The police can approach you and ask questions at any time. You don't have to stop and talk to the police if you don't want to. But it’s a good idea to be polite. Your rights are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
You don’t have to stop and let the police ask you questions unless they have:
Even when the police arrest or detain you, you do not have to answer their questions, and you have certain rights.
Right to remain silent
Right to be told what's happening
You have the right to be told why you're being arrested or detained.
Right to talk to a lawyer
You have the right to talk to a lawyer. The police must tell you that you have this right. If you tell the police you want to talk to a lawyer, the police must allow you to contact a lawyer. You must be allowed to talk to the lawyer in private.
The police must tell you about Legal Aid Ontario. Legal Aid Ontario pays lawyers known as duty counsel to give free legal advice if you've been arrested or detained. This advice is available 24 hours a day. If you've been arrested or detained, you can contact duty counsel immediately. If they don’t tell you, ask the police for the toll-free phone number for duty counsel.