11 Jun Do you know your rights?
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was created to protect the rights of Canadian citizens and govern their relationship with the state. Among the many rights it guarantees, is the right to be free from arbitrary detention. Police must conduct themselves in accordance with the Charter when interacting with the public. There have been many cases where the Courts have determined that the police have violated an individual’s right by illegally detaining them.
The attached article is a glaring example of police officers overstepping their authority by asking questions and making demands without any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The Supreme Court of Canada called it a serious violation of this individuals rights, and excluded the evidence, in this case a gun and drugs, from the trial resulting in the case being thrown out.
The following is a brief synopsis of your rights under the Charter, if you have been detained or arrested:
Police have the power to detain you for investigative purposes:
1. If they have a reasonable suspicion to believe that you have committed a crime
2. You must be told the reason for the detention
3. The detention must be reasonable and not random or based on a hunch
4. The detention may be physical or psychological
5. Psychological detention has three elements
a. A police direction or demand
c. The belief that there is no choice but to comply
b. Compliance with the demand resulting in a deprivation of freedom
Upon arrest you have the right:
1. To know what offence you are being arrested for
2. To be searched in a reasonable manner
3. To remain silent, and
4. To speak with a lawyer without delay