Seizure of Bodily Samples

From Criminal Law Notebook
This page was last substantively updated or reviewed March 2021. (Rev. # 93082)


Bodily samples cannot be taken without a warrant where the subject does not consent.[1]

There are several methods of obtaining bodily samples:

  • general warrant (s. 487);
  • DNA Sample (s. 487.05);
  • blood sample demand (s. 320.28);
  • blood sample warrant (s. 320.29);
  • bodily impressions (s. 487.092)

A bodily sample can also be obtained by consent.[2]

  1. R v Tomaso, (1989), 70 CR (3d) 152 (*no CanLII links)
  2. See Consent Search

General DNA Sample Seizure (s.487.05)

Blood Sample Seizure in Impaired Driving Investigations (320.28, 320.29)

Body Print Impression Warrant (487.092)

Obtaining Blood Samples by General Warrant (487)

Where a nurse takes a blood sample from a patient as part of her regular course of duties, it is available to the police to obtain a warrant to seize the sample as evidence.

Blood taken by a nurse as part of hospital procedure will still be protected by an expectation of privacy.[1]

Where an officer directs the nurse to store a blood sample for a period beyond the time intended by the hospital, it will effectively enter into the custody of police.[2]

  1. R v Dyment, 1988 CanLII 10 (SCC), [1988] 2 SCR 417, per Lamer J
  2. R v Pike, 2010 NLTD 97 (CanLII), 918 APR 342, per Thompson J

See Also