It could happen – you could be arrested and held in custody at a police station, waiting for release. You should call a lawyer, and that is your right. That way, you will get immediate legal advice tailored to your situation – at least as far as that is possible in a very brief phone call.
In general, the tips below could apply. Remember though that they might not apply to your particular situation.
1. If you decide to take advantage of your right to remain silent (beyond identifying yourself), which is usually the best course of action, be aware that the police have no corresponding obligation to stop questioning you. You may have to repeatedly insist that 'on the advice of my lawyer I have nothing to say'.
2. Beyond obvious interrogation, the police are legally allowed to use tricks to make you talk. One such trick is to tell you that they have overwhelming evidence that proves that you did the crime, even when they do not.
3. Your right to remain silent includes the right to not write anything that may incriminate you. Before you fill out forms that police ask you to fill out, consider asking a lawyer about the form.
4. If you are asked to consent to a warrantless search, instead insist that the police obtain a warrant before the search.
5. Speaking with anyone at the police station may be offering up evidence. Your cell mate may be an informant, or an undercover police officer.
6. You must let police take your photo, but you have a right to not participate in a photo line up with other people.
7. You should act on the basis that you are recorded at all times inside the police station, except for the call with your lawyer.
8. No to the polygraph.
There is so much more to know when you are in custody. If you have specific concerns or want to know more about your rights, please contact me. Visit my website at CriminalLawInOttawa.ca or call me at 613.203.4874.