What if I am arrested? Right to Counsel / Right to Silence

Exercise your Right to Counsel

Hopefully, you will never experience being arrested.  Maybe you engaged one of the lawyers at Berkes Law in the investigation stage and no charges will ever come.  If you are arrested, it is important to exercise your Right to Counsel and Right to Silence. 

At the time of your arrest, the police should provide you with your Right to Counsel.  You will be given the opportunity to exercise that Right back at the police station.  You should consult with a lawyer at the station.  You have a right to contact any lawyer that you wish.  If you do not have the number of the lawyer, you can ask the police to help you obtain the number by:

  • If you wish to call Jody Berkes you can reach him at 416-738-4639. 
  • Giving you access to your cell phone so you can get the number there.  A note of caution if the police want to search your phone, unlocking it to get number may make it easier for the police to access the information on the phone.
  • Looking up the lawyer’s number on the internet.
  • Asking to phone a third party for a lawyer’s number.
  • Speaking with your current lawyer to get a recommendation for a criminal lawyer.
  • Accessing duty counsel which is a criminal lawyer on call 24/7 to give you free advice.

Maintain your Right to Silence

Whether or not you choose to exercise your Right to Counsel, you will want to exercise your Right to Silence.  It would border on the impossible for someone to talk themselves out of a charge, but quite easy for someone to provide evidence during an interrogation that will ensure they will be convicted. 

After the police have given you an opportunity to exercise your Right to Counsel they may question you.  You are allowed one phone call and Counsel cannot join you during the questioning.  Nothing you can say can force the police to stop questioning you and the questioning can go on for minutes or hours, including multiple sessions.  The goal of the police are to get you to start talking and keep you talking in the hopes that you will eventually give them evidence they can use to convict you.  The police can legally lie to you in the hopes of getting you to speak.  Some of the techniques the police will use to get you to talk are: 

  • Exaggerating the allegations in the hopes you will deny the exaggerations, thereby confessing to the lesser offence. 
  • Showing you shocking photos of the crime scene or victims in the hopes of provoking an acknowledgement.
  • Getting you to agree that “you really didn’t mean to hurt anyone” in the hopes you will admit you participated in the offence.
  • Telling you that it does not matter if you talk because they already “know” everything.  It is one thing for them to have to prove what they “know” in court.  However, if you admit to things they “know,” they don’t have to prove it anymore.
  • Beware the friendly officer who expresses sympathy, says he has been there too and wants to help.  If he really wanted to help he would release you without charging you.
  • Beware the officer who says that they are trying to be fair to get “your side of the story”
  • Beware the officer who says “you don’t have to tell us because we know everything already”