Escape from Lawful Custody (Offence)
|Escape from Lawful Custody|
|s. 145(1) of the Crim. Code|
|Election / Plea|
summary proceedings must initiate within 12 months of the offence (786(2))
Sup. Court w/ Jury (*)
|Avail. Disp.||Discharge (730)|
Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
|Maximum||2 years less a day jail and/or a $5,000 fine (from Sept 19, 2019)|
|Avail. Disp.||same as summary|
|Maximum||2 years incarceration|
Offences relating to escape from lawful custody are found in Part IV of the Criminal Code concerning "Offences Against the Administration of Law and Justice".
|Crown Election||Defence Election
|s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse]||Hybrid Offence(s)||(* only if Crown proceeds by Indictment)||(under 14 years max)|
Offences under s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse] are hybrid with a Crown election. If prosecuted by indictment, there is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).
by Peace Officer
by Judge or Justice
s. 508(1), 512(1), or 788
s. 498, 499, and 501
a Judge or Justice
on a Release Order
s. 515 to 519
|Direct to Attend |
for Fingerprints, etc.
Identification of Criminals Act
s. 2 ID Crim. Act
|s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse]|
When charged under s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse], the accused can be given an appearance notice without arrest under s. 497 or a summons. If arrested, he can be released by the arresting officer under s. 498 or 499 on an undertaking with or without conditions. He can also be released by a justice under s. 515.
- Reverse Onus Bail
If police decide to bring the accused before a Justice pursuant to s. 503, there will be a presumption against bail (i.e. a reverse onus) if the offence, prosecuted by indictment, was committed:
- while at large under s. 515 [bail release], 679 or 680 [release pending appeal or review of appeal] (s. 515(6)(a)(i));
- "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association" with a criminal organization (s. 515(6)(a)(ii));
- where the offence involved a firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, while the accused was subject to a prohibition order preventing possession of these items (s. 515(6)(a)(viii)); or
- where the accused is not "ordinarily a resident in Canada" (s. 515(6)(b)).
There will be a reverse onus for charges under s. 145(2) to (5) "that is alleged to have been committed while he was at large after being released in respect of another offence pursuant to the provisions of [Part XVI regarding compelling appearance for an accused] or s. 679, 680 or 816 [regarding release pending appeal or review of appeal]".
- Fingerprints and Photos
A peace officer who charges a person under s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse] of the Code can require that person to attend for the taking of fingerprints, photographs or other similar recordings that are used to identify them under the Identification of Criminals Act.
- Publication Bans
For all criminal or regulatory prosecutions, there is a discretionary general publication ban available on application of the Crown, victim or witness to prohibit the publishing of "any information that could identify the victim or witness" under s. 486.5(1) where it is "necessary" for the "proper administration of justice". Other available publication bans include prohibitions for publishing evidence or other information arising from a bail hearing (s. 517), preliminary inquiry (s. 539) or jury trial (s. 648). There is a mandatory publication ban in all youth prosecutions on information tending to identify young accused under s. 110 of the YCJA or young victims under s. 111 of the YCJA.
- Offence Designation
|AG Consent Required||Serious Criminality|
s. 36 IRPA
|s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse]|
Offences under 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse] are designated offences eligible for wiretap under s. 183.
See below in Ancillary Sentencing Orders for details on designations relating to sentencing orders.
- Escape and being at large without excuse
145 (1) Every person who escapes from lawful custody or who is, before the expiration of a term of imprisonment to which they were sentenced, at large in or outside Canada without lawful excuse, is guilty of
- (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
- (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
[omitted (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10) and (11)]
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 145; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 20; 1992, c. 47, s. 68; 1994, c. 44, s. 8; 1996, c. 7, s. 38; 1997, c. 18, s. 3; 2008, c. 18, s. 3; 2018, c. 29, s. 9; 2019, c. 25, s. 47; 2022, c. 17, s. 4.
Draft Form of Charges
|"THAT [accused full name] stands charged that, between the <DATE> day of <MONTH>, <YEAR> and <DATE> day of <MONTH>, <YEAR>***, at or near <COMMUNITY/TOWN/CITY>, <PROVINCE>, he [or she]..." OR|
|"THAT [accused full name] stands charged that, on or about the <DATE> day of <MONTH>, <YEAR>, at or near <COMMUNITY/TOWN/CITY>, <PROVINCE>, he [or she]..." OR|
|"AND FURTHER at the same time and place aforesaid, he [or she]..."|
|Code Section||Subject of Offence||Draft Wording|
|145(1)(a)||escape from lawful custody||"... escape from lawful custody, to wit: [describe conduct], contrary to section 145(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.|
|145(1)(b)||being at large without lawful excuse||"... was at large without lawful excuse before the expiration of the term of imprisonment to which he/she was sentenced, to wit: [describe conduct], contrary to section 145(1)(b) of the Criminal Code.|
Proof of the Offence
Proving escape from lawful custody under s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse] should include:
Proving unlawfully at large under s. 145(2) should include:
Interpretation of the Offence
- Physical Restraint
To be in custody the officer must use words of arrest along with physical restraint or the accused’s submission to physical restraint. Without physical restraint of some sort, the offence cannot be made out.
- ↑ R v Costain, 2011 ONCJ 559 (CanLII), per Horkins J
Participation of Third Parties
- Testimonial Aids
Certain persons who testify are entitled to make application for the use of testimonial aids: Exclusion of Public (s. 486), Use of a Testimonial Screen (s. 486), Access to Support Person While Testifying (s. 486.1), Close Proximity Video-link Testimony (s. 486.2), Self-Represented Cross-Examination Prohibition Order (s. 486.3), and Witness Security Order (s. 486.7).
A witness, victim or complainant may also request publication bans (s. 486.4, 486.5) and/or a Witness Identity Non-disclosure Order (s. 486.31). See also, Publication Bans, above.
- On Finding of Guilt
s. 606(4.1), (4.2)
|Victim Notice |
of Impact Statement
|s. 145(1)(a) [escape from lawful custody]|
|s. 145(1)(b) [being at large without lawful excuse]|
Under s. 738, a judge must inquire from the Crown before sentencing whether "reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victims with an opportunity to indicate whether they are seeking restitution for their losses and damages".
Under s. 722(2), the judge must inquire "[a]s soon as feasible" before sentencing with the Crown "if reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victim with an opportunity to prepare" a victim impact statement. This will include any person "who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss" as a result of the offence. Individuals representing a community impacted by the crime may file a statement under s. 722.2.
Sentencing Principles and Ranges
- Maximum Penalties
|s. 145(1)(a) [escape from lawful custody]||summary election||2 years less a day jail and/or a $5,000 fine (from Sept 19, 2019)|
|s. 145(1)(a) [escape from lawful custody]||indictable election||2 years incarceration|
|s. 145(1)(b) [being at large without lawful excuse]||summary election||2 years less a day jail and/or a $5,000 fine (from Sept 19, 2019)|
|s. 145(1)(b) [being at large without lawful excuse]||indictable election||2 years incarceration|
Offences under s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse] are hybrid. If prosecuted by indictment, the maximum penalty is 2 years incarceration. If prosecuted by summary conviction, the maximum penalty is 2 years less a day jail and/or a $5,000 fine (from Sept 19, 2019).
- Minimum Penalties
These offences have no mandatory minimum penalties.
- Available Dispositions
s. 718.3, 787
|s. 145(1)(a) [escape from lawful custody]||any|
|s. 145(1)(b) [being at large without lawful excuse]||any|
All dispositions are available.The judge may order a discharge (s. 730), suspended sentence (s. 731(1)(a)), fine (s. 731(1)(b)), custody (s. 718.3, 787), custody with probation (s. 731(1)(b)), custody with a fine (s. 734), or a conditional sentence (s. 742.1).
- Consecutive Sentences
There are no statutory requirements that the sentences be consecutive.
Ancillary Sentencing Orders
- Offence-specific Orders
|DNA Orders||s. 145(1)(a) or (b)||
- General Sentencing Orders
|Non-communication order while offender in custody (s. 743.21)||any||The judge has the discretion to order that the offender be prohibited "from communicating...with any victim, witness or other person" while in custody except where the judge "considers [it] necessary" to communicate with them.|
|Restitution Orders (s. 738)||any||A discretionary Order is available for things such as the replacement value of the property; the pecuniary damages incurred from harm, expenses fleeing a domestic partner; or certain expenses arising from the commission of an offence under s.402.2 or 403.|
|Victim Fine Surcharge (s. 737)||any||A discretionary surcharge under s. 737 of 30% of any fine order imposed, $100 per summary conviction or $200 per indictable conviction. If the offence occurs on or after October 23, 2013, the order has smaller minimum amounts (15%, $50, or $100).|
- General Forfeiture Orders
|Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime (s. 462.37(1) or (2.01))||any||Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence under the Code or the CDSA in which property is "proceeds of crime" and offence was "committed in relation to that property", the property shall be forfeited to His Majesty the King on application of the Crown. NB: does not apply to summary offences.|
|Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture (s. 462.37(3))||any||Where a Court is satisfied an order for the forfeiture of proceeds of crime under s. 462.37(1) or (2.01) can be made, but that property cannot be "made subject to an order", then the Court "may" order a fine in "an amount equal to the value of the property". Failure to pay the fine will result in a default judgement imposing a period of incarceration.|
|Forfeiture of Weapons or Firearms (s. 491)||any||Where there is finding of guilt for an offence where a "weapon, an imitation firearm, a prohibited device, any ammunition, any prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance was used in the commission of [the] offence and that thing has been seized and detained", or "that a person has committed an offence that involves, or the subject-matter of which is, a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance has been seized and detained, that the item be an enumerated weapon or related item be connected to the offence", then there will be a mandatory forfeiture order. However, under s. 491(2), if the lawful owner "was not a party to the offence" and the judge has "no reasonable grounds to believe that the thing would or might be used in the commission of an offence", then it should be returned to the lawful owner.|
|Forfeiture of Offence-related Property (s. 490.1)||any||Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence, "any property is offence-related property" where (a) by means or in respect of which an indictable offence under this Act or the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act is committed, (b) that is used in any manner in connection with the commission of such an offence, or (c) that is intended to be used for committing such an offence". Such property is to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province. NB: does not apply to summary offences.|
Record Suspensions and Pardons
Convictions under s. 145(1) [escape and being at large without excuse] are eligible for record suspensions pursuant to s. 3 and 4 of the Criminal Records Act after 5 years after the expiration of sentence for summary conviction offences and 10 years after the expiration of sentence for all other offences. The offender may not have the record suspended where the offender was (1) convicted of 3 or more offences with a maximum penalty of life, and (2) for each 3 offences he "was sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more".
Prior to December 13, 2018, the offence read:
- Escape and being at large without excuse
145 (1) Every one who
- (a) escapes from lawful custody, or
- (b) is, before the expiration of a term of imprisonment to which he was sentenced, at large in or out of Canada without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him,
is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 145; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 20; 1992, c. 47, s. 68; 1994, c. 44, s. 8; 1996, c. 7, s. 38; 1997, c. 18, s. 3; 2008, c. 18, s. 3.
- Level One
- Criminal Law
- Offences Punishable on Summary Conviction
- Offences with Maximum Penalty of 2 Years Less a Day
- Wiretap Eligible Offences
- 1985, c. C-46
- 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.)
- 1992, c. 47
- 1994, c. 44
- 1996, c. 7
- 1997, c. 18
- 2008, c. 18
- 2018, c. 29
- 2019, c. 25
- 2022, c. 17
- Offences Requiring Notice to Victim
- Offences with Maximum Penalty of 2 Years
- Hybrid Offences
- Offences with No Mandatory Minimum