Thanks so much for joining me today. I want to talk to you about the investigation phase of a criminal matter. Talking a little bit about whether lawyers get involved in Canada in that phase and how we do it and what the client should expect to know or do. So it’s a pretty loaded question, but we get a lot of clients who will phone us and they say, you know, the police have asked me to go down to the police station. I don’t know what it’s for, or they told me to go down to the police station, they are investigating. And what do we do in that situation? Well, this is the real role of a defense lawyer in this situation. First of all, and you should watch my right to counsel video and right to remain silent video. We tell them look, call the police officer back and find out if they’re just investigating, or they’re laying at church. If they tell you they’re just investigating want to talk to you say look, I’m not coming down. I’m only coming to the police station if you’re telling me I could be arrested and charged. Simple as that because if they’re just investigating, you don’t want to go down because they’re going to put you in a room and try and get you talking. We’re going to say to you don’t give a statement. Keep exercising your right to remain silent and not giving a statement not give your statement even if they keep you there for hours. But they have ways and means of breaking you down. So you don’t even want to go down if you don’t have to. That having said that if they say they’re going to arrest you and charge you don’t want to be arrested work or in church or someplace. Go down, get arrested. If you’re a first-time offender for most criminal offences, you’re probably going to be released if you’re a first-time offender unless it’s a murder or a serious charge. Like for example, even for sexual assault. Most people are just released on consent. Go down. Don’t give a statement. Resist whatever they say in the room just shut up. It’s so important you are going to ruin your defense otherwise. Watch that video on that by the way, you’ll know why. So and then people say to me well, okay, they said it they’re not I’m not going to be arrested, so how long does this investigation go on? Well, realistically, it can only go on so long. In Canada, by the way, there’s no statute of limitations. So if they find DNA evidence against you, 10 years from now they can charge you but realistically for most criminal charges, if they haven’t charged in a couple of months, it’s going to go away. But you never know. I mean, I can’t really answer that question because there’s no statute of limitations if they find if they decide not to arrest you today well that’s for a valid reason, they don’t think you have enough evidence. What if they find enough evidence six months from now is the issue. There’s a very limited role in Canada. I mean, in Canada, unlike US TV shows, Canadian lawyers are not allowed in the room. We don’t go down and talk with the officer and get involved and that’s just kind of garbage US TV. Maybe they do that in the states a little bit I know they do to a certain extent. They’re allowed to go down we’re not allowed to do that. You have a right to phone a lawyer when you’re under arrest, but the lawyer you don’t have a right to meet that lawyer in person. So a lot of our we get a lot of phone calls about this. A lot of stressed-out people, some of them are going to be arrested, some of them are not. You know, the bottom line is make sure you go down to the station only if you’re told you’re going be under arrest and you have to ask the officer directly. Now, they may lie to you. They say no, no. I’m saying I’m not going down. Well, they make the rest of the work then but I personally would not go down to police station unless I was told I was being under arrest and the important thing to remember there’s no statute of limitations but practically speaking for most criminal offences, unless you’re going to be charged within a month or two from now, it’s probably going to go away but I can’t guarantee that. So there’s just a little bit of advice on the investigation process and how it works. By the way the Crown Attorney has nothing to do with the investigation process. It’s all in the police. Unlike the states where district attorneys can get involved in investigations and do especially on serious crimes. They don’t do that here. The role of the crown here is only to prosecute the case once they received the evidence from the police. The police can phone them up and ask them questions about whether they think they have enough evidence gathered. But the police do not direct the investigator I should say the Crown Attorney, that is the prosecutor does not direct the investigation in any fashion. So I hope you learned a little bit today about the investigation process and the role, the limited role of defense counsel in that and limited role of the Crown Attorney in the investigative process in Canada.

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