Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, every individual is guaranteed certain rights and liberties that cannot be violated by employees or representatives of the government, whether national or provincial. The police, for example, must read you your rights, including your right to speak to a lawyer and above all your right to silence.
Of course, the police are bound to encourage a suspect to talk, despite a clear declaration that you wish to remain silent. This is their job. They have a right to keep asking questions — and you have the right to silence. So, beyond telling them your name, address and date of birth, say absolutely nothing, no matter how badgered you feel.
They cannot use your silence against you — but they can use anything you say against you. And often they will "hear" what you say in a different way from what you intend. So always remember the magic word: silence!
Ironically, while your legal right to silence is protected, so is your freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of association. The ideas, religious and secular beliefs, and opinions of an individual are all protected, and should be tested in the free marketplace of ideas — not in the criminal courts. Freedoms, liberties and legal rights are often tested in the criminal system, which is the essential reason an experienced Vancouver criminal defence lawyer's assistance is necessary.
The law firm of G.N.A. Botting, Barrister, based in Greater Vancouver, serves clients throughout British Columbia, representing those who have been charged with criminal offences through every step, including bail, preliminary inquiry, trial and appeals at every level.
The federal government’s plan to introduce legislation limiting how long prison inmates can remain in solitary confinement is welcome news to those who have been subject to…Read more
Gary Botting Looking Out for Your Rights and Freedoms
Individuals in Canada have the right to life, liberty and security of person, among other freedoms, including:
- Freedom of religion
- Freedom of conscience
- Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression
- Freedom of peaceful assembly and association
Besides the most important right to silence, persons charged with a criminal offence are also entitled to other legal rights. For example, an individual facing the possibility of a criminal charge is protected from unreasonable search and seizure. When charged with an offence, an individual has the right to be tried within a reasonable time and has the right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself. (But only if he keeps silent!) An individual also has the right to remain in Canada and not to be extradited arbitrarily to another state. (Learn more this on the Extradition page.)
Every person charged with an offence is presumed innocent until proven guilty, whether you are facing allegations of bigamy, polygamy, defamatory libel, advocating genocide, public incitement of hatred or an act you see as a religious freedom rights violation. An experienced lawyer can help protect individual rights. Retaining representation as early as possible can make an important difference in someone's case.
Dr. Gary Botting is a firm proponent of the rights and freedoms of an individual and in protecting the rights of those who have been charged with criminal offences. He is committed to protecting the rights of his clients. Among his 30 published books are several titles that deal with rights and freedoms, including Wrongful Conviction in Canadian Law (LexisNexis, 2010), Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses (University of Calgary Press), Chief Smallboy: In Pursuit of Freedom (Fifth House), and five editions of Canadian Extradition Law Practice (LexisNexis, 2015).
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The B.C. Supreme Court has stayed charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and robbery against a client of British Columbia criminal lawyer Gary Botting on day three of a…Read more