In Canada, you can bring a civil claim anyone who has committed an actionable wrong against you. These will typically only be successful if you can show that the other person’s actions caused harm that can be properly compensated by a judicial remedy such as monetary damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, property damage, etc.). Civil court has a lower standard of proof than criminal court, meaning that you need less evidence for the court to make a finding in your favour. Evidence that the police violated your Charter rights can support your claim, but is not required.
In a criminal matter, if police obtained evidence by violating your Charter rights (for example, by way of unauthorized search), you can apply to have this evidence excluded at trial. If the police conduct is particularly egregious (for example, police brutality), the court may also discontinue the prosecution. This is known as a “stay of proceedings.”
Pursuing an action in civil court is an extremely expensive and time-consuming endeavour, and may not be able to properly address the wrongdoing that has occurred. If the police have violated your rights in some way, you can also file a formal complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
If you need our assistance, Collett Read LLP provides a strong legal defence to protect your rights. Call our team for free at (905) 541-2228 or fill out a consultation form to get us started on your case.