It can be extremely frightening to be suspected of a crime. To have police question you in an interrogation room can be confusing, stressful and, above all else, terrifying. Even though Ontario police must advise someone being arrested of his or her right to a lawyer, the individual cannot have a lawyer present during interrogation. Though anyone arrested of a crime can speak with a lawyer before the interrogation, he or she must be wise when speaking with police.
During that initial conversation, most lawyers will tell an arrestee not to say anything to police. The more an individual says, the more evidence he or she may be giving to police. Police may take whatever is said, even if it has little to do with a crime, and twist it in an attempt to confuse an arrestee further or to help make the Crown’s case.
Unfortunately for the operator of an unregulated home daycare in North York, she chose to speak with police after she was arrested following the death of a 2-year-old child in her care. This past July, the girl was unresponsive and not breathing in the daycare operator’s apartment. She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
When police brought the operator in for questioning, they say she admitted to leaving the girl unattended for a moment in the bathtub. According to police, she was busy looking after another child the moment the girl appears to have drowned.
Now, the 34-year-old daycare operator is facing charges of manslaughter. Had she followed most lawyers’ advice and not talked during her interrogation, however, her lawyer may have been able to explain what happened without legal charges arising.
Source: The Toronto Star, “Caregiver charged with manslaughter in toddler’s drowning death,” Jennifer Pagliaro and Laurie Monsebraaten, 10 Jan. 2014