Your rights if you are arrested and brought in for questioning
If you are arrested by the police as a suspect of a criminal act, you have certain rights under the Criminal Procedure Act. You have the same rights if you are arrested and detained in the police cells under the Police Act (for disturbing the peace, public intoxication, uncertain identity, etc.).
Notification to your next of kin and embassy
You will generally have a right to notify those you live with, or others designated by you, within two hours of being brought in to a police station.
However, the police can wait to give such notification if it can significantly prevent the investigation of the matter.
If you are under the age of 18, the police will generally notify your family regardless of whether or not you want them to.
If you are a foreign national, you have a right to notify your embassy or consulate that you have been arrested.
Right to contact a lawyer
If you are arrested, you have a right to contact a lawyer within two hours of being brought in to the police station.
You can freely choose what lawyer to contact.
Making a statement
You have a duty to state your name, date of birth, employment and address when asked by the police.
You have no duty to tell the police anything else. You can refuse to say anything, or you can decide what questions to answer.
Appearing in court
If you are not released, the police must as soon as possible â€" and no later than on the third day after your arrest â€" put the question of whether you should remain in custody before a judge. You will normally be brought before a judge the day after your arrest.
Mattress and blankets in the police cells
If you have to stay the night in a police cell, you have a right to a clean mattress and blankets.
If the police believe giving you a mattress and a blanket would represent a safety risk, they can delay giving them to you.
Medical attention in the police cells
You have a right to contact medical personnel no later than two hours after you were brought in to the police station.
If you call medical personnel yourself, the police have the right to verify the identity of the person answering your call. Once that is done, you can speak to the medical personnel without anyone listening in.