Legal Question in Criminal Law in Canada

Can you retract a statement made intoxicated

Asked on 4/15/20, 5:44 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Ronald Davidovic Law Ofc of Ronald Davidovic - 1-844-TRIALLAW

It depends on the circumstances under which the statement was made. If the statement was made to law enforcement after being notified of your right to counsel, but you were too intoxicated to understand or appreciate that right, your statement *should* be suppressed.

Section 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that everyone has the right on arrest or detention... to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right.

The test for a voluntary waiver of that right must be premised on a true appreciation of the consequences of giving up that right. If you're so intoxicated that you can't appreciate the consequences, you've not voluntarily given up that right.

The Supreme Court of Canada further clarified that police must inform suspects of their right to counsel "in terms that they can understand". Cases have found that in situations where someone is too intoxicated or suffers from a mental disability where they can't understand what's going on, there's no voluntary waiver of that right.

All that said, the circumstances will dictate whether the statement can *likely* be used. Were you under arrest or being detained or did you just blurt something out? How intoxicated were you? Were you sober enough to have a sufficient cognitive capacity to understand what you were saying or were you completely wasted?

Without knowing more about the circumstances, you probably are more concerned about a statement being used against you (or someone else) in a criminal case than "clearing the air". If rights, liberties or freedom are at stake here, you should consult with a criminal lawyer sooner than later.

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Answered on 4/16/20, 5:14 am

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