Arrest Without a Warrant

AuthorSteve Coughlan/Alex Gorlewski
136 Police Powers / Compelling Appearance
1.3(d) Arrest Without a Warrant
What type of
1. Have reasonable
2. Find committing?3
3. Reasonably
believe there is a
No power to
No No
Power to arrest4
(go to Chart 1.3(f))
Summary Indictable
This chart deals specically with the powers of arrest without a warrant avail-
able exclusively to peace ocers under s 495 of the Criminal Code, RSC 1985,
c C-46 [Code]. There are other powers of arrest, of course, most notably arrest
with a warrant (see Chart 1.3(b), Compelling Appearance with Prior Judicial
Scrutiny). Beyond that, s 494 sets out warrantless powers usually referred to
as “citizen’s arrest,” although the section makes them available to “any one.”
This means that they could also be used by peace ocers, though peace ocer
powers of arrest are broader and more likely to be applicable. In addition, ss
30 and 31 of the Code create powers of arrest to prevent a breach of the peace, a
power that has also been held to exist at common law (Hayes v Thompson (1985),
18 CCC (3d) 254 (BCCA)). Those other powers are rarely used, however, and in
the context of compelling a person to answer charges, the important provision
is s 495.
Powers to arrest are, in eect, divided by whether they apply to summary
conviction oences or to indictable oences. There are two primary standards
set out in s 495: that the ocer nds the person committing the oence, or that
the ocer has reasonable grounds to believe the person committed the oence.
See, generally, the discussion in Steve Coughlan, Criminal Procedure, 3d ed
(Toronto: Irwin Law, 2016) at ch 7, s C, Arrest Without a Warrant.

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