Many people are shocked to learn that in Canada the constitutional right to remain silent does not prevent police from attempting to convince detainees to give up that right after they have been given an opportunity to consult a lawyer. Furthermore, although a person under arrest has the right to consult with a criminal lawyer as often and for as long as reasonably necessary under the circumstances, the Supreme Court recently confirmed that police are permitted to persistently question a suspect without the presence of a lawyer even after being specifically advised by the lawyer that the client wished to invoke the constitutional right not to make a statement. As long as the interrogation is not deemed to be oppressive a great deal of latitude is permitted. In fact, suspects are often questioned aggressively for hours- at times with intermissions to consult with their lawyer- in order to obtain incriminating statements which are admissable at trial.
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