What to do when the Police call you? Answers to FAQ about Police Phone Calls & Legal Rights

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Can the police call me from a ‘private’ ‘blocked’ or ‘unknown’ number? 

Yes, you can typically expect your caller ID to show a ‘private’ or ‘unknown’ number when receiving a call from a police officer. There may be instances in which the police may contact you with an ordinary number, such as a 416 or 905 area code phone number. This is more common in situations where the police may have reason to believe that the individual they are trying to contact is avoiding them.


I received a call from a police officer who left a voicemail asking me to return their call, should I call?

No, you should not contact the police directly. Whether you are a witness or suspect, never voluntarily subject yourself to the intense interrogative questioning of the police.  In this situation, always contact a criminal defence lawyer. At the very least, you should want to know what your legal rights and obligations are with respect to speaking to the police. A criminal lawyer should always facilitate ANY and ALL conversations with the police on your behalf.


I answered a call from a police officer who asked to speak with me, what do I do?

When speaking to the police, always be courteous and respectful. In most circumstances, you do not want to directly engage in any form of discussion or conversation with the police officer. Keep these calls short and sweet. Find out who’s calling, get their contact information and advise the officer that you will have a lawyer return their call immediately. You may ask the officer to provide you with the following information: name; badge number; police agency (e.g. Toronto, York Regional Police, etc.); division or district (e.g. 32 Division of Toronto Police or 2 District of York Regional Police), and; a contact number. Once you have the officer’s information, contact a criminal lawyer.


If I retain a lawyer, won’t this make me look guilty? 

No, this is a big misconception. In fact, retaining a criminal lawyer will show the police that you are taking the matter seriously and are willing to cooperate to address the situation. At this point you should be less concerned about ‘looking guilty’ and more concerned about protecting yourself and your legal rights—there’s no better way of doing this than by insulating yourself from the very effective police investigative techniques and following the legal advice of an experienced criminal lawyer.


I spoke to the officer but I didn’t give an ‘official statement’ to the police, should I be concerned?

Many people believe that if they didn’t hand-write a statement, provide an audio or video recorded statement, then they haven’t actually provided the police with any information that could potentially be used against them. This is incorrect.  Any statements made or questions answered, even in what may seem like a casual conversation with a police officer, can, in fact, be used against you.


I know the police are going to charge me, why should I retain a lawyer?

The assistance of a criminal lawyer at an early stage can potentially result in no criminal charges being laid. That being said, in certain situations, criminal charges may be inevitable. However, a criminal lawyer can still be of invaluable assistance as they will advise you on your rights and are capable of making the appropriate arrangements with the police to surrender yourself in the best way possible and avoid unnecessary police measures. Being arrested after the police have raided your home by breaking the door in front of your entire family in the early hours of the morning while you’re still in your pyjamas can certainly be avoided. Most importantly, if you are going to be charged, your lawyer will be able to determine whether you will be released from the police station or detained for a bail hearing. In either situation, the assistance of a criminal lawyer will fully prepare you and ultimately ensure that you spend the least amount of time in custody.


If you or anyone you know has received a phone call from a police officer or has been charged with a criminal offence, please contact Farjoud Law at 647-606-6776 and speak to a Criminal Lawyer immediately.

Please note that this article is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. Please consult a lawyer prior to acting or relying on any information in order to ensure the protection of your rights and interests.


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