Watch: What Are My Rights If I’m Arrested?

Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Charles Fair, founder of Fair Legal, explains your rights if you are arrested - plus what to do and what NOT to do when talking to the police.

Watch: What Are My Rights If I'm Arrested?


You've got several important rights when you get arrested.

  • First, you have the right to be told why you are being arrested. The police can't just haul you away and throw you in a jail cell and let you rot there. They need to tell you what it is that you are being arrested for.
  • Secondly, an important right is the police have to tell you that you have the right to consult with a lawyer. And they have to give you a space and a place to do that, and they need to do that relatively promptly after you've been arrested. And they need to give you privacy while you're having that call with your lawyer. 
  • Thirdly, you have the right to remain silent, and this right, when you exercise it, the police will tell you that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be used against you and probably will be used against you. It is important to exercise your right. After the police tell you that you have that right, they don't have any obligation to stop asking you questions. If you start answering the questions, well, you've been told you have the right.

If you've already talked to a lawyer and if they continue to ask you some questions and you continue to answer those questions, then you've kind of waived your right.

And the police don't interview you in a nasty, aggressive way. They will come across as very nice. They want to be your friend, give you an opportunity to tell your side of the story. They don't need your side of the story. They've decided to arrest you. They already have a theory of the case that you'll find out eventually. You don't need to prove or disprove their theory of the case. And they don't even have to tell you what that theory is, and they certainly don't even have to be truthful about what they're thinking the case is. 

But anyway, back to the nice, nice police officer. Very rarely will you see a good cop / bad cop routine. You will just see a good cop routine, and the interviewer will ask you questions about whether you talked to a lawyer, confirm that you did, and they'll ask your name. They won't ask you what your lawyer told you, but then they'll start asking some other innocuous questions, and at that point, if you keep answering questions, they'll keep asking the questions. 

So if you've been told by your lawyer to exercise your right to remain silent, then do just that. Resist the temptation to make the police officer's job easier by giving him more information. 

It's important when you think you're going to be arrested, call Fair Legal at 403-239-2249 to schedule a consult so you know more about what to do when you are arrested. 

Contact Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Charles Fair

Call Fair Legal at 1 (403) 239-2249 to schedule a confidential meeting with a member of our legal team.