When Can Police stop me:

  1. If they suspect that you have committed a crime
  2. If they see you committing a crime
  3. If you are driving

If Stopped While Walking:


1) Find out if you are under arrest or detention, politely ask the officers, “Am I under arrest?” If the police does not arrest you or if they do not have grounds to detain you, they MUST let you be on your way.

2) If they say yes, you can ask why. Or, you may ask the officer “Am I free to go?”, and if the answer is no, ask “why not?”

I have the right to not have to answer their questions if I don’t want to. (Unless in a car accident and the police ask you questions about the accident, you could be charged with an offence if you do not provide any answers.)

I have the right to not allow police to search your belonging; if they insist, state loudly and repeatedly that you are not consenting to a search, but do not physically interfere.

I have the right to not provide them of with my name, address and identification if asked. (Do not lie about your name or address you may be charged with obstructing justice or obstructing the police.)

If Stopped While Driving:

The Police can stop cars at any time to determine if a driver has consumed alcohol or drugs, to see whether a driver has a valid drivers license, or to make sure a driver has insurance.

If the police ask to see your driver’s license, car registration and insurance, you are required by law to produce these documents.

When Can I Be Searched:

In most cases, the police can only search you only if you have been placed under arrest or if you have consented to the search. However, there are exceptions.

These include:

  1. If the police find you in a place where they are searching for drugs, and they have reason to believe that you have drugs.

  2. The police find you in a vehicle where people are transporting or drinking alcohol illegally, and they believe that you have alcohol.

  3. The police believe that you have an illegal weapon or one that was used to commit a crime, and suspect that it might be removed or destroyed in the time it would take to get a search warrant.

Searching While Driving:

I have the right to not be searched if the police check my sobriety, the mechanical condition of the car, my license, registration or insurance have stopped my car.

They are allowed to look in the windows of your car and use a flashlight is need be.

The police are only allowed to search your car if they have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there are illegal drugs or alcohol or evidence relating to the commission of a crime in the car. They must also believe that the evidence, drugs or alcohol would be removed or destroyed if they were to get a search warrant.

Detainment, Arrest and Warrants

What Are Your Rights If You Are Being Detained?

The police have a right to briefly detain you if they are investigating a crime and have reasonable grounds to believe that you are connected to that crime. (Detention is different from getting arrested)

If you have been detained but not arrested, and a police officer believes that there are reasonable grounds to think that his safety or the safety of others is at risk, the officer may do a “pat-down” search of you to check for weapons.

I have the right to not have to answer any questions posed by the police if detained.

I have the right to be given an opportunity to speak to a lawyer if detained.

What are Your Rights If You Are Arrested:

I have the right to be informed promptly of the reason for your arrest. -If you are unsure, you should politely ask the police officer why you are being arrested.

I have the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to answer any questions asked by the police.

I have a right to speak to a lawyer, and the police must advise you of this right as soon as possible. The police must also tell you about Legal Aid and your right to free legal services.

I have the right to make more than one phone call in order to reach a lawyer, if necessary.

I have the right to speak to a lawyer in private.

I have the right to not be asked any questions until I have obtained a lawyer.

When Can the Police Enter My Home?

  1. The police have a warrant to enter your home to arrest someone
  2. The police have a search warrant
  3. The police have permission from you or someone else in authority in your home.
  4. There are urgent circumstances that require the police to enter your home.

When Can Police Enter My Home Without Permission:

1.When a 911 call has been made from your home, and the police believe that entry is necessary to prevent death or serious injury. 2. Where the police believe that someone in the home is in need of emergency services. 3. To help someone who has reported a domestic assault to safely remove their belongings. 4. To protect people from injury if the police suspect that there is a drug laboratory in the home.

To learn more about your rights, or if you feel like your rights have been breached, contact the York Federation of Students.

Vice President Equity OR President /

For more information check out: Or

This information was collected from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Know Your Rights Citizens guide When Dealing With Police