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Can the police search you?

Region: Ontario Answer Number: 744

When can the police search you?

The police can generally search you, your clothing, and anything you are carrying in five circumstances. These are:

  1. When you agree to let the police search you;
  2. When the police have some reason to believe that you have committed, or are in the middle of committing an offence involving weapons;
  3. When you are in a place where the police are searching for drugs and they believe that you have drugs;
  4. When you are in a car where there is alcohol; and
  5. When you are arrested.

In all these situations, you have the right to consult a lawyer, and you do not have to respond to any police questions.

If the police find something related to a different offence while they are legally searching you, they can charge you with that offence as well. For example, if the police search you because they believe you have a gun, and while searching you they find illegal drugs, they can charge you with a drug offence as well.

Although the police cannot conduct random searches, it is best not to become hostile or resist a police search. Resisting a search may result in a charge being laid against you. Instead, contact a lawyer as soon as possible and seek further information and advice.

For more information about criminal law and the justice system in Canada, visit the Government of Canada, Department of Justice, or the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-866-898-7767 or learn more at Pardon Pros. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, contact our preferred experts, Rotenberg Shidlowski Jesin Criminal Lawyers .


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