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Whether you’re charged wrongfully or for legitimate reasons, you should always know what your rights are as a Canadian citizen. It’s important because you don’t want to speak anything or take any missteps that might worsen your case.

That’s why, Kolinsky Law, the Best Criminal Lawyer in Edmonton, have brought you this article so you can educate yourself with the things to know in case you’re arrested.

Your Rights Under the Charter

As a resident of Alberta, it’s crucial to understand your rights if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being arrested or detained. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a part of our Constitution, outlines these rights clearly.

When arrested or detained, the police must inform you of the reason for your arrest or detention and the nature of their investigation. They must also immediately notify you of your right to consult with a lawyer.

Access to Legal Aid and Free Legal Advice

If you’re facing arrest or detention, the police are obligated to inform you about Legal Aid and your entitlement to free legal advice. You have the right to speak privately with a lawyer of your choice as soon as possible, if you request to do so.

Also, the police don’t have to let you talk to a lawyer unless you say that’s what you want. And once you do talk to a lawyer, they’ll assume you got all the advice you need. But if you’re still confused or not happy with what the lawyer said, you can ask to talk to them again or get a second opinion from another lawyer.

Special Considerations for Minors

If you’re under 18, the police must handle your arrest or detention differently than they would for an adult. Also, the police is required to inform you that:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Any statements you make may be used as evidence against you
  • You have the right to consult with a lawyer
  • You have the right to contact your parents or guardian
  • You have the right to have your parents or guardian and a lawyer present during questioning, if you so desire

As a minor, you don’t have to choose between contacting your parents or guardian and consulting with a lawyer; you can do both. If you reach out to them, you have the right to have both your parents or guardian and a lawyer present during police questioning.

Invoking Your Right to Legal Counsel

If you tell the police you want to talk to a lawyer and actually try to reach one, they should stop with the questions. They’re supposed to give you a free number to call for legal advice from a duty counsel lawyer at Legal Aid Alberta.

But here’s the thing – once you’ve talked to a lawyer, the police can start asking questions again. Even if you say you don’t want to answer, they can keep pushing. But remember, you have the right to zip it. You don’t have to say a word.

Adults don’t get a lawyer present during questioning, and if you’ve already spoken to one, you usually can’t do so again in the same interview. But if things change and you need more advice, they might have to let you contact a lawyer again.

Know Your Rights, Protect Your Freedom

If you find yourself in this tough spot, keep your cool, stand up for your rights, and get legal help ASAP. Knowing your rights is the first step to protecting your freedom and making sure you’re treated fairly. And if you need the Best Criminal Lawyer in Edmonton, you know who to call – Kolinsky Law. We’ll make sure your rights are protected and fight for you every step of the way.