-> IF YOU ARE UNDER ARREST, PHONE: 514-289-9995
This is the phone number of sympathetic local lawyers. They speak fluent French and competent English.
Make sure you remember this number (write it down on your body if necessary). This number is very busy, so please only phone IF UNDER ARREST
-> LEGAL SUPPORT LINE (June 6-10): 514-848-7583 (you can phone 24/7 and leave a message)
Members of CLAC will be checking messages at this temporary "legal support line" that we are maintaining between June 6-10. Please leave a message if someone does not pick up (we cannot guarantee that someone will be beside the phone all times, but we will check messages frequently). Phone this support line if you are NOT under arrest, but would otherwise like to pass on information, or get information, related to legal support.
SOME INFORMATION TO KEEP IN MIND IF YOU ARE STOPPED BY THE POLICE
* Never talk to police. If you are arrested, don't say anything beyond your name, date of birth & address. That's all you are obliged to say, and only if you are arrested.
* Never consent to a search. Police can only search your belongings if they have probable cause that they will find illegal weapons or drugs, or after you've been arrested. Don't ever consent to a search, and say "I do not consent to a search."
[After arrest, you might receive a ticket or be charged ...]
* If you get a ticket, it is important to contest it - you have one month to do so. The instructions on how to do this are clear on the back of the ticket but basically all you have to do is check off the box that says you will contest it, make/keep a copy for yourself, and mail it to the given address. Don't fill out the part asking what your reasons for contesting are - this can be used against you later.
*The law offices of Denis Poitras & Etienne Poitras has set up a website where you can inform their office about your ticket online: www.514-289-9995.com (click on "inscription client-e" and then register your basic info).
* Protesters have been charged under municipal bylaws (P-6). These are not criminal charges, but rather fines, but you are strongly encouraged to properly contest your tickets.
IF YOU ARE CHARGED:
* You'll be finger-printed and then given some conditions to sign before release. Normally this is just an obligation to appear at court on a date in the future (a logistical thing that happens before the trial to confirm charges and identity formally in front of the court, plus some basic decisions about the trial). Sometimes conditions can be more invasive and you'll have to decide whether you can accept them.
* Sometimes you will be held overnight, and then you are supposed to appear before a justice of the peace within 24 hours (though often it is longer). In this case, it is good to have a lawyer (unless you want to represent yourself). See numbers of sympathetic lawyers above.
* Once you are out, you'll need to find a lawyer for your trial (unless you plan to represent yourself). If you don't qualify for legal aid, you would normally have to pay. You can contact CLAC (514-848-7583, or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to organize collectively with other accused to fundraise, to explore collective fundraising possibilities or to obtain information about self-representation.
* If you are convicted and do not have citizenship this can harm your application, depending on what stage you are at. If you don't have a trusted immigration lawyer, get in touch with Solidarity Across Borders (438-933-7654 or email@example.com) for immigration lawyers who will give you good advice. It may be important not to plead guilty.
In both cases:
* Jot down notes for yourself about the circumstances of the arrest and ask any of your witnesses who saw the arrest to do likewise. Get contacts of witnesses and co-accused if possible so you can get in touch with them later.
* Get in touch with organizations like CLASSÉ & CLAC to join in collective defences, e.g. against Bill 78 (no spontaneous assembly) or municipal regulation P6 (anti-mask) infractions.