4. Talk to a lawyer before agreeing to have the police search your car

What are my rights if the police stop me when I'm driving?
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4. Talk to a lawyer before agreeing to have the police search your car

Police are allowed to check your driver’s licence, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. They are also allowed to look into the windows of your vehicle. If it’s nighttime, they may use a flashlight to help them see.

They aren’t allowed to search your vehicle unless:

  • you give them permission, or
  • they have reasonable grounds to believe there is evidence of a crime in the vehicle, and that evidence could be removed or destroyed if they waited for a search warrant.

If the police ask you to let them search your vehicle, you don’t have to agree. You have the right to say no. It’s a good idea to insist on talking to a lawyer before you decide whether to let the police search your car.

If you don’t know a lawyer or can’t afford one, you can contact Legal Aid Ontario. Legal Aid Ontario pays lawyers known as duty counsel to give free legal advice. This advice is available 24 hours a day.

You May Also Need

Legal Aid Ontario
Law Society Referral Service
JusticeNet
Reviewed: December 17, 2018

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