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WHETHER TO PROVIDE A STATEMENT

There are exceptions ... but generally speaking, the answer is usually, "No".   


Exceptions would include alibi evidence and other special circumstances.  But even then, a disclosure can be made later by your lawyer at a later date.  


An informed decision can only be made on whether to provide a statement ... after you have received specific legal advice related to your situation.


As you may already know, anything incriminating you say can be used against you in court.  


However, you may be surprised to learn that the laws of evidence operate so that things you may say in your favour are usually deemed legally, "self serving", and inadmissible in court.


Innocent and frightened persons can easily get confused and inadvertently make errors in recollection or may inadvertently use language that might appear later to be untruths.   


It is usually best to exercise your Canadian Charter right to remain silent, until you have spoken to a lawyer.  Again, only decide on a statement ... after you have received legal advice.


CAUTION


Many people get confused about what a statement is.  It does not necessarily have to be written and signed.  Even your verbal responses to the questions of a police officer may be admissible against you in court if the proper police cautions and all of your Charter Rights have previously been related to you.


Jim O'Neil, LL.B.

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