“Officer, please understand I refuse to talk to you other than to identify myself until I consult with my lawyer. I also refuse to consent to any search of these premises or any premises under my control or which I have in my possession, proprietary or privacy interest including my car, body, or effects. I further refuse to consent to the taking of my breath, bodily fluids, or tissue for scientific analysis without an opportunity to consent with my lawyer. As a Canadian, I desire to exercise all my rights guarantees to me by THE CONSTITUTION OF CANADA TO BE FREE FROM INTERFERENCE WITH MY PERSONAL AFFAIRS. If you attempt to question me I want my lawyer present. I further refuse to participate in any lineup or perform any physical acts, speak or display my person and property at your discretion without first consulting with my lawyer. If I am under arrest I wish to know under what charge and wish to invoke and exercise my constitutional rights. If you ignore my rights and attempt to produce a waiver I want to consult with my lawyer prior to any conversation with you. If I am not under arrest, I wish to leave. If I am free to leave please tell me so that I may return to my business.”
Individuals that are detained under suspicion for involvement in a crime are also under no obligation to answer any questions posed to them by the police.
The right to counsel is one of the most important rights in Canadian criminal law because it guarantees that all individuals have the opportunity to have legal matters explained to them by an experienced criminal defence lawyer to ensure that they understand what their rights are in the circumstance and how best to defend the charges.
If there are reasonable grounds to suspect a person is connected to a certain crime, the police may detain them for further investigation. Upon detention, the police must inform the detainee of the reasons they are being detained. An “investigative detention” must be brief as it is not an arrest.
Unreasonable searches can also include a search that was conducted in an excessive or abusive manner. If a search is “unreasonable”, a defendant can apply to the trial judge for a remedy. The typical remedy is to exclude at trial the evidence that stems from the violation of this right. A judge may also dismiss the charges on account of the unreasonable police conduct.
It’s important to remember that reasonableness depends on many factors; the amount of investigative work that is involved in the case, the number of interested parties and their locations, and/or the complexity of the case. Reasonableness also relates to local court resources and/or how they compare to other jurisdictions. Other elements in determining reasonableness of delay could include delays by either the Crown attorney or defense counsel, or even the Court itself.
The best way to approach the situation, understand your rights and formulate a winning defence is to speak to a lawyer who has knowledge and experience in the areas that most affect you.