The police have a right to ask questions and make general inquiries as part of an investigation. You also have the right, in most circumstances, to contact a lawyer before answering any questions. You should always be polite and cooperate regarding your name, address, etc.. Your lawyer is not entitled to be present during questioning but can offer you the best advice in what, if anything, you should say.
For traffic offences or accidents, it is best to cooperate and be polite. If the police advise you are being charged, then the above rights kick in and you will be given a phone call to a lawyer and the legal aid number in the event you don’t know who to call. If you are clearly being questioned as a witness only, the above rights do not apply. While you have a right not to answer, this is not always advisable as in some circumstances, this may lead to charges of obstruction of justice. You can still request a lawyer before you answer but legally, the police are not required to do so unless you are a suspect.
CAN POLICE SEARCH MY VEHICLE, HOME OR OFFICE?
The police do not have the right to a detailed search of your car, beyond what is in clear view. The police cannot search your home or office without a warrant, except in emergency or dangerous circumstances. Otherwise, they can search your home or office only with your consent. You should always get legal advice before you consent.
WHAT IF I AM ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH A CRIMINAL OFFENCE?
If arrested, the police must inform you of your right to speak to a lawyer. They can search your person, clothing or anything you are carrying as part of a lawful arrest. The best advice is to call a qualified criminal lawyer before answering any questions or giving any consents.
To ensure you receive the best possible outcome, it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation from a criminal defence lawyer in Winnipeg, like Jeffrey J. Gindin, Q.C. Call (204) 294-9317 now to request a consultation!
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