4. Talk to a lawyer

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Criminal Law - Police stops and searches
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Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD)
Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)

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Do I have to answer police questions if I'm driving or biking?
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4. Talk to a lawyer

If you've been arrested or detained, you have the right to talk to a lawyer. 

What to say

Just say, "I want to talk to a lawyer." You don’t have to say anything else.

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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