Canadian Criminal Evidence/Credibility/Post-Offence Conduct
General Principles[edit | edit source]
Post offence conduct is a form of circumstantial evidence. It is admissible based on relevance. The utility depends on what inferences can be fairly drawn from the circumstances in its entirety. 
Post-offence conduct is frequently seen as:
- flight from the scene of the crime or the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed;
- attempts to resist arrest;
- failure to appear at trial; and
- acts of concealment such as lying, assuming a false name, changing one's appearance, and hiding or disposing of evidence.
This inference is case-specific based on factors such as:
- the nature of the conduct;
- the facts sought to be inferred from the conduct;
- the positions of the parties; and
- the totality of the evidence.
Post-offence conduct cannot be used to infer a degree of culpability, but can be used to attack credibility.
An exculpatory statement that has been discredited can only be used to make to an adverse inference against the accused where there is independent evidence of fabrication. The key is to establish an intent to deceive to support an inference of consciousness of guilt.
Such statements should be treated in the same manner as alibis.
Proof of the accused's flight from a scene permits an inference that an offence occurred. It does not permit the inference, without more, that it was a specific offence charged.
- R v Gagnon 2006 MBCA 125 (CanLII)
- R. v. White, 2011 SCC 13 at 23
- R. v. Teske  O.J. No. 3759(C.A.) at para. 85
- R. v. Turcotte 2005 SCC 50 at para 37
- R v White 1998 125 C.C.C. (3d) 385
- R v White
- R. v. Figueroa (2008), 232 C.C.C. (3d) 51 (Ont. C.A.), at paras. 33 and 35 
- R. v. Jaw, 2009 SCC 42 at 39
- R v Hein 2008 BCCA 109 at para. 53
R v Hibbert, 2002 SCC 39 at 67
R v Tessier 1997 CanLII 3475
- R v O'Connor 2002 CanLII 3540 at para 26-27
- R v Bennett, 2003 CanLII 21292 (ONCA)
- R v Andrade, (1985) 6 OAC 345, 18 CCC (3d) 41 at 67
- R v O'Connor 2002 CanLII 3540 (ONCA) at para. 18