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Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4Z4
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Being accused of a criminal offence can be an overwhelming experience. You need to protect yourself from the first moment you are asked any questions and understand what rights are available to you. First and foremost, if you are accused (or even suspected) of committing a criminal offence, you should NEVER talk to the police. This idea is very difficult for most people to follow. They say things like:
"If I could only explain it to the police then this misunderstanding would go away,"
"It's not as bad as the police think,"
"They need to hear my side of the story."
These are naive views of the criminal justice system. Those who have ignored this advice, or the advice of other lawyers, have done so at their own peril. That's because if police officers, conservation officers, or other law enforcement personnel want to speak to you, it is usually for one reason and one reason only: to make you give them evidence that they will use to try to prosecute you.
Misunderstandings don't just go away. You may quickly find you are in more trouble than you thought. Even if you're innocent, you can become entangled in the legal process – a mess that could take months or even years to get out of. It's important to do it right, right from the start.
Not talking to the police is your first and best line of defence. There is no law that requires you to talk to police. We as Canadians think it might be considered rude if we don't. However, what's more important in your mind: giving people information that they will use against you in a criminal investigation or being polite to those same people?
It's important that you NEVER talk to the police without representation if you are accused (or even suspected) of committing an offence, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE INNOCENT. There will be a chance for you to tell your side of the story to your lawyer and to the judge.
George Joseph at Petrone + Partners can help. As one of the most respected criminal lawyers in Thunder Bay, he will ensure your rights are protected at every step through the legal process – including that important first interview with law enforcement. Before you talk to anyone, even in the case of a misunderstanding, call Petrone + Partners. We'll help you clear up the misunderstanding before it turns into something bigger and protect your rights no matter what the situation.
Please view these videos that explain it very clearly. Although they refer to American law, the general principles apply to Canadians as well.
Before you talk to anyone, call Petrone + Partners.