Canada Judge: Suspects Must Get Internet to Find Lawyer

Ruling orders police to let those arrested use Google

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 19, 2013 3:59 PM CST

(Newser) – A modern twist on that old line about getting one phone call from jail: A judge in Canada has ruled that police must provide access to the Internet so suspects can look up a lawyer, reports the Toronto Star. The ruling stems from a DUI arrest in which 19-year-old Christopher McKay had no luck finding an attorney using the the toll-free number and physical phone books provided by police. He wanted to Google local lawyers, but police had confiscated his smartphone, so he was out of luck.

That won't happen again, decrees a judge on the Alberta provincial court:

  • “In the year 2013 it is the Court’s view that all police stations must be equipped with Internet access and detainees must have the same opportunities to access the Internet to find a lawyer as they do to access the telephone book to find a lawyer.”

  (Shutterstock)
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