I was arrested with no warrant. What should I do?

2. Talk to a lawyer

If you’ve been , ask to talk to a lawyer right away.

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

Services while in custody

If you need to talk to a lawyer while you’re in , the police must tell you about the Brydges duty counsel service. This is a service provided by Legal Aid Ontario. It gives free legal advice to anyone in Ontario who is or arrested. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service is available in English, French, and any other language through an interpreter.

Tell the police officer that you want to talk to if you don’t have your own criminal lawyer. The officer should call the hotline for you and let you speak with duty counsel in private. If duty counsel is not available, the officer can leave a message and duty counsel should call you back within 30 minutes.

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