Detention, Arrest and Criminal Charges

When failing to comply with the law, you are putting yourself at risk for being detained, arrested or receiving criminal charges. It is important to understand the difference between being detained and being arrested.

When being detained, you are briefly stopped by the police, whereas while being arrested, you are taken into custody. Therefore, being detained doesn’t necessarily indicate you’ve actually failed to comply with the law. A police officer may have suspicion towards you under reasonable grounds.




The police officer must have a reasonable ground in order to detain you. They must also provide you with reasons for the detention, verifying your legal obligation to stay with them and follow their directions. In order to verify that one is actually being detained, a few factors to be assessed are:

a. The precise language used by the police officer in requesting the person to come to the police station, and whether the person was given a choice or expressed a preference that the interview be conducted at the police station;

b. Whether the person was escorted to the police station by a police officer or went himself or herself in response to a police request;

c. Whether the person left at the conclusion of the interview or was arrested;

d. The stage of the investigation;

e. Whether the police had reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the person had committed a crime;

f. The nature of the questions; whether the questions were of a general nature; and

g. The subjective belief by the person that he or she was detained; personal circumstances relating to the person



Arrest and Criminal Charges

You may be arrested when the police believe you have committed or are about to commit an offence. They must however have reasonable and probable grounds to believe so. Following the arrest, you are taken into custody and may be subject to criminal charges.

You may have to stay in custody until a court appearance proves your guilt or innocence. A few reasons why you may be kept in jail before appearing in court are:

  • It is not in the public’s interest that you be released;
  • The police are not certain of your identity;
  • In order to preserve evidence of the offence or related to the offence;
  • In order to prevent the continuation of the offence or another offence; or
  • There is concern that you will not appear in court as required.

It is also possible for you to be charged with a criminal offence, but not taken into custody. In this case, you may be summoned to court on a given date.

As a citizen, you are protected from being arbitrarily (unlawfully) detained or arrested by Section 10 in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom:


Everyone has the right to arrest or detention

a. To be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;

b. To retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right, and

c. To have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

It is important to know your rights in relation to arrest and detention. If you have experienced an event in which you believe you have been wrongfully detained or arrested, or you have questions about the process in general, do not hesitate to contact us at Tailor Law Professional Corporation.

We have highly skilled criminal lawyers who will assist you with legal advice. You may contact us at 905-366-0202, or visit our website here.

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