You only have a positive duty to assist law enforcement officers in a few situations. For example, everyone has a duty to remain at the scene of an accident. 

But generally you do not have a duty to talk to police if you are being questioned. You have the right to remain silent.

Exceptions to the Right to Remain Silent

There are three exceptions to this general rule:

  1. If you are stopped when driving, you must tell the police your name and address, and the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, and you must produce your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  2. If you were driving when you were involved in an accident, you must give the police your name, address and driver’s license, and produce the vehicle ownership papers. 
  3. If you have broken any law (including provincial laws and city bylaws, like bicycle helmet laws), you must give your name and address. 

If you do not give the police the information when they request it in these circumstances you can be arrested and held until the police obtained the information.

If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and do not have to answer any questions. 

If you do not want to answer questions, it is better to tell the police that you do not want to answer questions until you get legal advice, and tell them you want to speak to a lawyer.