The police have the authority to stop you and ask questions. However, it is likewise your right not to answer considering that the information you give might be used against you in court.
The police have the right to ask for your name and address. Refusing to answer or giving false information might result to charges filed against you. The police must warn you that refusal to answer is an offence.
The police can stop you and ask for your name and address when they catch you in the act of committing an offence. They can also request for your name and address if they reasonably suspect you of committing an offence. Other instances wherein the police can ask for your name and address are the following:
- you are ordered to stop being a nuisance or disturbing the peace and order;
- you are ordered to stop driving or to get out of a vehicle;
- you are requested to provide information in an investigation for an indictable offence or domestic violence;
- under other similar reasonable circumstances.
Your rights when you are stopped by the police
It is your right to ask the police for their names, rank and station and the reason why they want to question you. You can ask for identity cards or other proofs of identity. If the police are there to arrest you then you have the right to ask for a warrant.
Instances when the police can stop, question and search you
- When you are driving
The police can pull you over and ask to see your licence if they have reasonable ground to believe that you are in the act of committing an offence or has just committed an offence or even just to conduct a random alcohol breath test. The police are also authorized to conduct a drug saliva test or to ask you to go with them to the police station for a blood test.
During this questioning or investigation you can refuse to answer questions but to refuse to undergo the tests may result to charges filed against you. You have the right to ask to be assisted by a solicitor.
- When the police are armed with a search warrant they have the right to search you, your house and your personal property.
- The police can search you, your house and personal property if you consented to the search.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.