Your legal rights are protected by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
- You have a right to a fair and equitable trial if you are sued or accused of a crime.
For example, the judge presiding your case must be impartial and unbiased. Except in specific cases, such as to protect children, hearings are public.
- You cannot be subjected to unreasonable searches or your home searched without a warrant.
For example, a police officer cannot search your purse without reason nor can he or she enter your home without a warrant.
- If you are arrested or detained, you must be treated with humanity and respect.
For example, a police officer cannot use excessive force to arrest you.
- You have the right to know why you are being arrested and the specific offence with which you are charged.
For example, a police officer must inform you in a language you understand, why you are being arrested or detained.
- You have a right to be represented by a lawyer and to let your family know if you are arrested or detained.
For example, as soon as you are arrested, a police officer must advise of your rights, including your right to be represented by a lawyer.
- You have the right to a trial before the appropriate tribunal within a reasonable time if you are accused.
For example, if your trial is unduly postponed or delayed, a judge could, depending on the circumstances, acquit you.
- If you are charged, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty and you have the right to remain silent during your trial..
For example, a court will be required to acquit you if you have not been proven guilty. In addition, you have the right not to testify during your trial.
- You have the right to be represented or assisted by a lawyer before a court and the right to ensure your full and complete defense, including the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
For example, you have the right to know all the evidence against you before the trial begins and you or your lawyer have the right to ask questions to the witnesses of the prosecution.
These are examples. There are more legal rights. To find out more, please see Chapter 1 of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms