Arrest Procedure

From Canadian Criminal Law Notebook
Jump to: navigation, search


At the time of arrest, an officer must typically inform the accused of the following and confirm that they understand:

  1. inform of reason for arrest
  2. Charter of Rights caution / Right to Silence
  3. right to speak to a lawyer
  4. access to legal aid
  5. secondary police cautions

Validity of Arrest

An arrest consists of two elements:[1]

  1. the actual seizure or touching of a person's body with a view towards his detention or
  2. the pronouncing of "words of arrest" to a person who submits to the arresting officer.

An arrest will only be lawful if:[2]

  1. police have a subjective belief that there are reasonable and probable grounds to arrest the accused.
  2. the grounds must be objectively justifiable
  1. R v Whitfield [1970] SCR 46, 1969 CanLII 4 (SCC), per Judson J.
    R v Lo, 1997 CanLII 1908 (BC SC), at paras 6 to 10
    R v Latimer, 1997 CanLII 405 (SCC), (1997), 112 CCC (3d) 193 at paras 24-5
  2. R v Lo at paras 6 to 10
    See also R v Storrey, 1990 CanLII 125 (SCC), (1990), 53 CCC (3d) 316 at 322-4 (S.C.C.)
    R v Grant, [2009] 2 SCR 353, 2009 SCC 32 (CanLII) at paras 54-6


Once a person is lawfully arrested they have an obligation to identify themselves.[1] Failure to do so may result in an offence of obstruction.[2]

  1. R v Pauli, 2014 SKQB 246 (CanLII)
  2. e.g. Pauli, ibid.