Your Rights - Information for Accused

As a person accused of committing a crime, you have certain legal rights. This section provides information about some of those rights. When your legal rights arise and how you might exercise them depends on your situation. To fully understand your rights, consult a lawyer as soon as possible.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Canadian Constitution. The Charter guarantees certain fundamental rights. These include political rights, such as free speech, and legal rights. Legal rights in the charter include:

  • Section 7 - The right to life, liberty, and security of the person.
  • Section 8 - The right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure.
  • Section 9 - The right not to be arbitrarily arrested.
  • Section 10 - The right to know why you’re arrested, to get a lawyer immediately and to be told that you have that right.
  • Section 11 - Rights if you’re charged with an offence, including:
    • The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
    • The right not to be a witness against yourself
    • The right to a trial within a reasonable time
    • The right to be informed without unreasonable delay of the specific offence you are charged with
    • The right to reasonable bail unless there is just cause (a good reason) to deny it
    • The right to trial by jury if an offence can be punished with imprisonment for five years or more
  • Section 12 - The right not to be subject to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
  • Section 13 - Protection against the use of your own testimony to prosecute you (the right against self incrimination).
  • Section 14 - The right to an interpreter in a court proceeding.

Visit If You are Arrested (Adult Accused) For more information about your rights when you are arrested or see Clicklaw.