Understanding Your Rights When Charged With Assault

January 26th, 2024
Understanding Your Rights When Charged With Assault

Part of the Constitution of Canada adopted as part of the Constitution Act in 1982 is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, sometimes referred to simply as the “Charter.” This charter outlines the rights and freedoms guaranteed to citizens under Canadian law and is also subject to some fair and reasonable limits prescribed by Canadian law.

These “rights and freedoms” are the same for everyone. They apply to anyone arrested for any reason—including assault. These rights also are the same across Canada in every province and territory, not just, here, in British Columbia, and are intended to apply to everyone equally.

When someone is arrested or charged with a crime, such as assault, there are five principal rights which apply to the person arrested or charged:

  1. The right to remain silent when being questioned by police.
  2. The right to be told why you have been arrested or are being detained.
  3. The right to be told that you can have a lawyer and a lawyer present during questioning.
  4. The right to be told about the availability of legal aid and a duty counsel for someone who cannot afford to hire a lawyer privately.
  5. The right to speak with or access a lawyer privately as soon as possible.

If you are arrested or detained or charged for assault or any other crime, these rights above are yours. It is easy to be intimidated by the police, but we always advise clients or potential clients to speak to your lawyer first before talking to police. Do not make any statements or answer any questions before speaking to your lawyer.

Either hire your own lawyer or make use of the duty counsel or legal aid which you will be given access to if you ask for it. Engaging a lawyer immediately is your best chance for a good outcome. 

If you have assaulted someone for whatever reason or been charged with any kind of assault, or other criminal offence, please contact Gagan Nahal for a free consultation in Vancouver at (604) 527-4769 as soon as possible. Mr. Nahal’s law practice focuses on criminal defence law, and he has extensive experience in this area of the law. 

Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.