3. Talk to a lawyer and remain silent

What happens if I don't follow my bail conditions?
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3. Talk to a lawyer and remain silent

Talk to a lawyer

If you’ve been arrested, ask to talk to a lawyer right away. You should not answer any questions about claims that you were not following the conditions of your bail.

What to say

Just say, "I want to talk to a lawyer." The police should stop questioning you as soon as you ask for a lawyer. You don’t have to say anything else. If the police keep asking questions, don’t say anything. Ask again to talk to a lawyer.

Your rights

You have the right to talk to a lawyer. The police must tell you that you have this right. If you ask, they must allow you to contact a lawyer. If you have a particular lawyer you wish to speak to, the police must let you call that lawyer if possible.

You must tell the police that you want to talk to 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 to people who can’t afford a lawyer. This advice is available 24 hours a day. If they don’t tell you, ask the police for the toll-free phone number for duty counsel. 

Remain silent

The police can keep asking questions and trying to get a statement from you even after you say that you want to remain silent. The police can also keep asking you questions even after you have spoken to a lawyer.

What to say

If the police question you and you don’t want to answer, tell them. Politely say, “I do not wish to give a statement or answer any questions.” Repeat this statement as often as necessary and until the police stop asking you questions. By making this statement, you make it clear that you have chosen to use your right to remain silent.

Your rights

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects your right to remain silent.

You don’t have to answer any questions the police ask you. Anything you say to the police may be used as evidence if you’re charged with an offence.

If you’re being detained or arrested, the police may caution you about your right to remain silent before asking for a statement. But they don’t have to tell you about this right.

It's usually in your best interest to remain silent. It's always in your best interest to wait until you've talked to a lawyer before you decide whether to answer questions from the police.

If you lie to the police, you can be charged with the criminal offence called obstructing justice.

You May Also Need

Legal Aid Ontario
Law Society Referral Service
Reviewed: July 1, 2018

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