WHEN THE POLICE WANT TO TALK TO YOU
When the police want to talk to you it can be nerve-wracking. While it is natural to want to get your side of the story across, the time to do so is not when they are questioning you. A criminal defence lawyer can speak on your behalf if you end up getting charged. You run the risk of incriminating yourself by speaking to the police when they investigate, detain, or arrest you. Thus, anything you tell them can be used as evidence against you. Fortunately, section 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives you the right to “retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right” if you get detained or arrested. Those who give up their right to counsel do so at their own peril and often to their own detriment.
If you get arrested, you need to give the police your name, birthdate, and address. However, you do not need to answer their questions in most situations. An example of a situation in which you do need to provide some details to the police is when you have failed to acquire the other driver’s information after a vehicular collision. If you are not sure what to say, or not to say, it is best to get advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer.
Statistics reveal that 55% of communication is body language. As such, it is no surprise people sometimes end up talking to the police without saying anything. Should you find yourself in an interview room getting videotaped by them, nodding your head yes or no is the same thing as answering “yes” or “no.” Therefore, it is very important to monitor your body language when they are interviewing you.
The police can call you, requesting information to help them with an investigation. They may not provide you with any details. Nevertheless, the investigation might be about you. If that occurs, contact a criminal defence lawyer for advice. If you fail to do so, you run the risk of inadvertently giving them information they can use against you. Answering an innocent-sounding question that has nothing to do with the investigation can lead to more and more questioning. Before you know it, you are helping them conduct their investigation against you.
You might be thinking to yourself: “What’s wrong with talking to the police if I’m innocent? I’ve got nothing to hide.” The simple answer is anything you tell them can be used against you. Thus, it is much better to say nothing at all. You have the right to remain silent. As mentioned, you also have the right to call a lawyer without delay should you get arrested or detained. Call Jason Malloy if you need legal advice about talking to the police.