The Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Section 8

Section 8 of the Charter reads: “Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.”

This right provides you with the primary source of constitutional privacy against intrusion by the state. This section is what prevents police from illegally entering your property, from illegally searching you or your property, or from seizing any property.

Section 8 is only invoked if the search or seizure violated a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Courts have held over the years what locations and items typically have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and these would typically include your vehicle, your home, and even the contents of your computer or phone.

Section 8 has two components it protects against: searches, and seizures. A search is determined by whether the investigatory technique used by the state diminishes a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy. A seizure was defined by the Supreme Court in R v Dyment, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 417, as the “taking of a thing from a person by a public authority without that person’s consent.”

Section 8 is probably the most used section of the Charter by defence counsel in trying to contest a criminal charge. It arises in a wide arrange of criminal charges from theft to impaired driving to drugs and gun offences.


R v Dyment, [1988] 2 S.C.R. 417 –


Practice Areas

Get In Contact With One Of Our Lawyers

Related Posts

Business Owners Guide to Health & Safety Offences

Legal Hurdles: Help From A Drug Possession Lawyer

Assault Charge in Ontario? The Help You Need

Traffic Stop Do’s and Don’ts

Got A DUI? Help From Ottawa DUI Lawyers

Section 8 of the Charter: Know Your Rights