When can the police stop me and question me?

>>>When can the police stop me and question me?

Police officer interrogating man across from table

The police are authorized to stop you and question you for investigative purposes when they reasonably suspect that you have committed a crime, are about to commit a crime, or when they see you committing a crime. If they have stopped you, you are required to identify yourself by providing your name, address, and date of birth if they request that you do so. While you do not need to provide them with any more information than this, you should provide this information forthwith and honestly to ensure that you are not charged with obstructing a peace officer.

In order to protect the public from impaired drivers and to otherwise ensure the safety of our roads, police are also authorized to randomly stop you and question you when you are operating a motor vehicle. They may ask you for your driver’s licence, vehicle registration, and insurance, all three of which you are required to provide. They may also inquire into whether you have consumed alcohol, and ask questions needed to determine whether your vehicle is mechanically roadworthy. Since you have a right to silence, you do not have to answer their questions, but it is advisable to cooperate with the police. Refusing to cooperate with them, particularly when they ask you to provide a sample of your breath, can lead to you being charged with criminal offences like a refusal or obstruction of a peace officer.

While the police are not prohibited from approaching you and asking you questions if you are not under investigation, you are not legally obligated to answer them unless they are asking for your licence while engaged in an activity like driving or hunting. Even if you have been arrested, you are not legally obligated to answer police questions, other than providing your name, address, and date of birth. Since any and all statements that are made to the police can be used against you, you should not answer any questions beyond those required to identify yourself.

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.