3. Talk to a lawyer

What are my rights if the police think I've been drinking and driving?
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3. Talk to a lawyer

You have the right to talk to a lawyer before taking a breathalyzer test at the police station. Always ask to talk to a lawyer before you take a breathalyzer test.

What to say

Say "I want to talk to a lawyer." You should make it clear to the police that you want to exercise your right to talk to a lawyer. You can do that by telling them. Give the police your lawyer’s name and phone number if you have one.  

Your rights

The police must tell you that you have the right to talk to a lawyer. 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

Services while in custody

If you need to talk to a lawyer while you’re in custody, 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 detained 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 duty counsel 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.

You May Also Need

Legal Aid Ontario
Law Society Referral Service
Reviewed: December 18, 2018

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