Every citizen has rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. People accused of crimes need to be aware that the outcome of their case is not only dictated by the merits of the charges, but also by how their Charter rights are respected. If the police or the Crown violate the rights of the accused, incriminating evidence could be excluded or the case could be dismissed completely.
Since a breach of your Charter rights could determine the outcome of your entire case, the lawyers at Hicks Adams LLP begin every case with the crucial step of determining whether any of your Charter rights have been violated.
While people have many Charter rights, there are five that are extremely critical in criminal matters:
Right to be free from illegal search and seizure: This right relates not only to police coming into your car or your home and taking things, but also to wiretaps and recorded conversations. Police need valid search warrants, and proper procedures must be followed. If not, your rights have been violated and you should receive a remedy.
Right to be free from arbitrary detention: Before the police can stop you to investigate whether you were involved in a crime, they must have reasonable grounds to believe that you were involved. If reasonable grounds do not exist, your Charter rights have been violated. Police are not allowed to stop you just because you look suspicious.
Right to remain silent: No matter what the police tell you, you have the right to remain silent and avoid implicating yourself in a crime. Police may say they just want to get your side of the story or speak to you “off the record.” However, it is important to realize that there is no such thing as an “off the record” discussion with police and that anything you say to them can later be used against you at trial.
Right to counsel: This right goes hand-in-hand with the right to remain silent. You should speak only to a knowledgeable lawyer, who will ensure that nothing you say will be used against you. If you have not been provided with the opportunity to consult with a lawyer, your rights have been violated.
Right to a fair trial: You have the right to be presumed innocent and to be tried within a reasonable time. It is not your responsibility to prove your innocence. It is the Crown’s job to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offence in question. Furthermore, you must have your case heard and decided within a reasonable time.
Hicks Adams LLP is one of the largest and most experienced criminal law firms in Canada. Our lawyers will use their acquired expertise and vast knowledge to ensure your Charter rights are protected from the moment you come into contact with the police until your case concludes. The proper protection of your rights plays a key role in achieving an acquittal, and an acquittal is always our primary objective.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation About Your Charter & Constitutional Rights
Our Toronto criminal defence lawyers have extensive experience protecting and defending our clients’ Charter and constitutional rights, and we are ready to fearlessly protect your rights. Call us at 416-975-1700 or contact us online for a free consultation.