*2024 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Attending at the police station after being asked to do so by an officer

The police are asking me to attend in person at the police station. Do I have to go? Should I?

You should consult with a lawyer and attend at the station if they are telling you that you must go now. If they are giving you the option to attend if you want, you should generally only attend if advised to do so by counsel. Most counsel will recommend that you politely exercise your right to remain silent at the station and be cognizant of the tricks and tactics the police may use to try to convince you to talk and answer their questions.

If they ask me to come to the station does this mean I am being charged with something?

Just because the police are asking you to come to the station in person does not necessarily mean you are being charged with a crime, but it often does. If you received a phone call or have otherwise been asked to go down to the station, you should consult with a criminal defence lawyer immediately.

Some people will know they are being charged because the police have told them this upfront. If they said you are being charged you can assume they are telling you the truth. Some people are told they aren’t being charged yet and that their attendance is voluntary. The police may still be conducting an investigation and determining whether to lay charges or not.

Sometimes the police need you to confess or make admissions before they have enough evidence to charge you, which is why most criminal lawyers recommend that you exercise your right to remain silent.

Attending at the police station after being told by an officer that you are being criminally charged

If the officer asking you to attend at the station says you are being charged, then they normally want to serve you with paperwork to formally charge you. This paperwork, usually an Undertaking or Appearance Notice, will compel you to attend for fingerprints and court at given dates in the future. It may also contain additional release conditions such as no contact clauses, not to attend at certain places, not to possess certain things, etc. while your case is pending.

If charges are being laid and an Undertaking or Appearance Notice is not deemed appropriate, the accused will be held for bail to allow the courts to determine whether to release them or not (and on what conditions). It is therefore essential to have counsel ready to conduct a bail hearing in the event you are not released from the station.

Even if the Crown consents to a bail release order, having counsel helps ensure the accused is released on the least restrictive conditions possible. Bail releases can include extremely strict conditions including house arrest, curfews, no contact with family members (domestic cases), not to possess a cell phone or use the internet (in child pornography and other computer crime cases), etc. It is important to try to avoid the most restrictive bail release terms if possible.

Attending at the police station without being told in advance whether you will be charged or not

If your attendance at the police station is voluntary, you may decline or choose to attend to demonstrate that you are not trying to avoid the police. If you choose to attend, it is usually best to politely and respectfully exercise your right to remain silent once you get there.

One must be careful when going to the station because the investigating officers are trained to try to get you to talk to them and may use tactics that seem very convincing. Someone fully intending to remain silent may inadvertently talk or admit to things that are not in their best interest when confronted with information or suggestions from the police they did not anticipate.

In cases where the police need you to confess or make admissions before laying charges, or when trying to bolster their case, they may try to trick or coerce you into talking to them by:
  1. leaving you with the impression that this is your one and only chance to tell your side of the story, and that you will look bad otherwise;

  2. that they are on your side about what may have happened (self defence, actions were reasonable, etc.);

  3. that they have evidence they don’t have like DNA, video surveillance, confessions of co-accused, third party witnesses saying they saw you do it, etc.
In some cases they do have very strong evidence against you, but they may not know the whole story or the extent of your involvement.

If you talk and provide more information it makes things much worse. For example, the police may have video evidence of you stealing $50 from your workplace one time, but not proof of all prior times that it happened (unless you tell them).

In child porn cases they may have proof that your device/IP address/timestamp accessed child abuse material online, but not that you were the one using it or that you were home alone at the time (it could have been someone else). They may convince you that providing the password to encrypted files in your possession is a good idea since they would be able to crack it anyway (not nearly so simple and sometimes impossible).

Usually obtaining a confession or statement against interest involves leaving you with the impression that they don’t need you to talk and that they already know everything. Many accused will wrongly think that honesty can only help them at this point since (in their mind) they have already been caught. When they talk and answer questions they erase any reasonable doubt that may have previously existed.

If you are being asked to attend at the police station and you do not already have a lawyer, give us a call now for assistance.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2024 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2024. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


Error: please enable JavaScript and reload this page before using the form.

   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel