What happens if the police contact me about Criminal Charges?

Associated Areas of law

One of the most common questions people ask when faced with the possibility of criminal charges, is what will happen if I am arrested?

There are many different scenarios that can occur if you are accused of a criminal offence.  Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, the police may arrest you immediately. However, it is not uncommon for you to be arrested at a later date.

One of the most common charges laid under the Criminal Code is a section 266 assault.  An assault is generally defined as follows:

265 (1) A person commits an assault when (a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly

Example Scenario: Simple Assault (Low End)

You are at a hockey game and start arguing with one of the opposing team’s fans.  Words are exchanged between both of you.  You push the guy and tell him to “GO AWAY!” There is no further interaction between the two of you and you go home after the game. 

A week later you get a call from police.  They want you to come into the police station but they do not give you any more information.  What do you do?

As soon as you are contacted by the police you should immediately call a criminal defence lawyer. In a scenario like this, your lawyer can speak to the police and find out more information about the potential charges.

A lawyer can advise you how to proceed and if you are required to attend the police station.  You are not always required to attend the police station.

In some circumstances, the police may not have enough evidence to lay a charge, so they will ask you to come in and tell your side of the story.  This is not always in your best interest.  You should immediately speak to a lawyer about how to proceed in this case.

In other circumstances, the police may feel they have enough evidence to lay the charge against you.  In this circumstance, a lawyer may be able to help find out the nature of the allegations and help you arrange a time for you to attend the police station.  This can help you avoid the embarrassment of being publically arrested.

A lawyer can also help you understand whether or not you will need a bail plan, or if the police will agree to release you from the station after you have been processed.

Please note that this article is meant to provide information only and is not intended to confer legal advice or opinion. If you have any further questions please consult a lawyer. Please note as well that many of the statements are general principles which may vary on a case by case basis.