When can the police search me?

1. Ask if you’re being detained

If the police have to suspect you've been involved in a crime, you can be

Ask if you're being detained. You have the right to be told why you're being detained.

What the police can do

When the police you, they can pat you with their hands to search for a gun or other weapon if they have reasonable grounds to believe you are a threat to the police or public safety. This is called a protective pat-down search. They aren't allowed to empty your pockets, purse, or other type of bag. They are only allowed to frisk you to find and take away weapons.

Talk to a lawyer

If you're being detained, ask to talk to a lawyer right away.

You have the right to talk to a lawyer when you're being detained. 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.

Services while in custody

The police must tell you about Legal Aid Ontario. Legal Aid Ontario pays lawyers known as to give free legal advice if you've been 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.

The rights related to talking to a lawyer are called the right to counsel. Always talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police.

Right to remain silent

You have the right to remain silent.  In most situations, you don't have to answer any questions the police ask you. Anything you say to the police may be used as .

Hide this website