Did you know that the statement you give to police can be used against you in court and gives the Crown Prosecutor an opportunity to build a case against you?
Being arrested for an offence or being investigated can be an overwhelming and confusing time. Naturally, you want to prove your innocence and want to do so by providing as much information to the police as possible. However, as criminal lawyers in Calgary, we urge you to refuse providing a statement to the police until you have one of our criminal defence lawyers present. Remember – refusing to make a statement does not make you look more guilty but can preserve your innocence in court.
Here’s what you need to know about giving a statement to police in Calgary and why calling a criminal defence lawyer is your best course of action.
You have the right to remain silent
If the police are asking for your statement, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees your right to silence. It’s important to exercise this right, regardless of whether the police are being forceful or coercing you in any way to make a statement. When you have a lawyer present, we will make sure that your rights are being protected during the arrest or investigation.
Lawyers almost always say not to talk to the police. Why? For good reason. Clients often think that if they tell their side of the story, then the police will understand and they won’t get charged or it means the police are taking your side over the complainant or the so-called victim’s side. Unfortunately, oftentimes this doesn’t happen. There doesn’t have to be any corroboration to the complainant’s story.
Anything you say can be used against you in court
Understandably, you want to defend yourself to the police, but anything you say to the police can be used against you in court. Even if you do not provide a statement, remember you’re in a high-stress situation – the stakes are high because somebody has made a very scary allegation against you.
During an arrest or investigation, you’re likely uncomfortable and nervous, increasing the chances of you leaving something important out or saying too much. Any inconsistency can be used against you you could be found unreliable, not credible, or that you’re lying simply because you’re nervous and you could be taking away some potential defences by making admissions.
You have the right to call a lawyer
Clients will often ask, “what if the police get mad at me for not participating?”
Remember, you are not obligated to say anything. The fact that you didn’t say anything cannot be used against you in front of a judge or in front of a jury – you can simply say no comment or my lawyer told me not to say anything.
Instead, call a lawyer before you decide to speak because it could impact winning or losing your case. It’s important that you exercise your right to a lawyer before speaking with the police or offering any evidence.