A police interaction can turn into a detention when a person’s freedom of movement is restricted or restrained by the police, even if it is only temporarily.
A detention occurs when a reasonable person in the individual’s circumstances would feel that they are not free to leave. This means that a person does not have to be physically restrained or placed in handcuffs to be considered in detention. If the police use their authority to restrict a person’s freedom of movement, either through physical force, verbal commands, or by creating an intimidating or coercive environment, then it could be considered a detention.
Examples of police interactions that may constitute a detention include:
- Being stopped on the street and asked to provide identification or answer questions;
- Being asked to sit in a police vehicle or a holding area;
- Being asked to stay in a specific location, such as a room or an area cordoned off by police; or
- Being physically restrained, such as being placed in handcuffs.
It is important to note that if a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime, they have the authority to detain the person for investigative purposes. However, the detention must be reasonable in the circumstances and must not exceed the time necessary to conduct the investigation.
When Can the Police Detain me?
The police can detain you when they have reasonable grounds to suspect that you have committed or are about to commit a crime. This is known as an investigative detention, and it is allowed under Canadian law if it is conducted in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
You have rights when you are being detained by the police in Canada. These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to be informed of the reason for your detention and the right to legal counsel.
The lawyers at Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh have a wealth of experience dealing with Charter issues. This includes unlawful arrests; searches of homes, vehicles, and wiretap investigations; and right to counsel issues. If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal charge, please give us a call at 416-613-0416 to schedule a consultation.