2. Decide if you want to answer police questions

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Criminal Law - Police stops and searches
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Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)
Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)

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Do I have to answer police questions if I'm driving or biking?
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2. Decide if you want to answer police questions

In most situations, you don’t have to answer questions from the police. But to avoid spending a lot of time with them, you may want to identify yourself in the following situations:

  • If the police are looking for someone else, you might avoid being arrested by showing them you’re not the person they’re looking for.
  • If the police think you might have committed a criminal offence and you don’t tell them who you are, they could arrest you. They can keep you at the police station until they find out who you are, or need to take you to court for a bail hearing.
  • If the police believe you’ve committed a minor offence and you tell them who you are, they might not arrest you. Instead, they might give you a promise to appear telling you when to go to court.

If you lie about your name or address, you can be charged with obstructing justice or obstructing the police.

Reviewed: December 18, 2018

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