What do I do if the police arrest me?

The police cannot arrest or detain you without following very strict rules.

Your Rights

If you are arrested, you have certain rights, such as:

  • The right to remain silent (the only information you need to share with police is your name, address and date of birth)
  • The right to a lawyer (you can choose your lawyer)
  • The right to legal advice in your first language and to an interpreter
  • The right to privacy when you call a lawyer
  • The right to free legal advice

What The Police Must Do

The police have certain responsibilities. For example, they must:

  • Say who they are and show you identification
  • Tell you they are arresting you, explain why and make sure that you understand them
  • Touch you, but not harm you, to indicate that you are officially under arrest
  • Tell you about your rights
  • Tell you about Legal Aid
  • Charge you and take you to court within 24 hours, or let you go

The rules that govern arrest and detention are covered in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Charter protects you from arbitrary detention. This means that you do not have to go with the police to a police station if they have not placed you under arrest.

For More Information

This information is not legal advice.

Last updated: October 28, 2015 4000360