When can the police search me?

2. Ask if you’re being arrested

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

What the police can do

The police are allowed to search you when you're being arrested to:

  • find related to the you're being arrested for
  • prevent you from destroying evidence
  • protect the police or the public

When you're being arrested, the police can conduct a more thorough search of you and your property. They can search your immediate surroundings, which include:

  • you
  • your clothing
  • anything you're carrying including your cell phone
  • your car if that's where you're arrested

If you've been arrested, the police can do a limited search of your cell phone without a . Having a password doesn't mean that the police aren't allowed to search your phone. But it does limit their ability to search your phone when you're being arrested. You have the right to remain silent during an . This means that you don't have to give the police the password for your phone.

Talk to a lawyer

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

You have the right to talk to a lawyer when you're being arrested. 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 arrested or . 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 evidence.

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