Understanding Your Rights When Facing Criminal Charges in Edmonton

Understanding Your Rights When Facing Criminal Charges in Edmonton

If you are facing a criminal charge, it is very important to familiarize yourself with Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It outlines your rights and sets the foundation upon which the Criminal Justice System operates. There are key principles in place including the presumption of innocence, having an independent judiciary, and equality before the law.

If you require legal assistance in the face of a criminal charge, our criminal lawyers at Verhaeghe Law Office may be able to help. Contact us today to book a meeting.

Your Rights During Arrest or Detainment

When approached by a member of the Edmonton Police Services, they must identify themselves and disclose why they want to speak to you. If you are arrested, you:

  • Have the right to know why you are being arrested or detained;
  • Have the right to speak to a lawyer. A police officer must inform you of this option and make sure you have the chance to do so privately and safely;
  • Have the right to see a search warrant if they have one;
  • And more.

If your property is being searched, a police officer must be reasonable and respectful, not use excessive force or damage to your property without reason, and return your property within three months unless they have received permission from a judge to hold it for an extended period of time.

You also have the right to remain silent - any information you share is voluntary. In turn, you are required to identify yourself if you are breaking a law or are under arrest. You also have the right to leave if not being detained or arrested, and have the right to know the officer’s name and badge number.

Your Rights in Trial Proceedings and Verdicts

If you have been charged with a crime, you must appear in court unless your situation allows for a lawyer to appear on your behalf. You should understand your rights in Canadian Criminal law, especially during trial and verdict periods. You are believed to be innocent until proven guilty in a criminal case. You also have the right to not be denied reasonable bail without just cause, and the right to a trial by jury. You have the right to a trial within a reasonable amount of time and are protected against self-incrimination. You have the right to a fair, public hearing conducted by an independent and impartial tribunal. It may be in your best interest to hire an Edmonton criminal lawyer as early on in the process as possible.

With verdicts and sentencing, every person has the right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. There is also the right to lesser punishment - meaning that if you are charged with an offence and found guilty, but the punishment for the offence has varied between the time of commission and time of sentencing, then you will receive the lesser punishment.

Schedule a Consultation With Our Criminal Lawyers Today

The better you understand the criminal justice system and your rights within it, the more informed you will be when making decisions pertaining to your situation. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, you should contact us at Verhaeghe Law Office to schedule a consultation with our criminal lawyers at your earliest convenience.

** Please note, this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of criminal law, and is not intended to be legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with an Alberta criminal lawyer.

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