Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Flight from a Peace Officer

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Flight from a Peace Officer
s. 249.1 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Hybrid
Jurisdiction Prov. Court
SC Judge + PI (I)
SC Jury + PI (I) (536(2))
Maximum 6 months jail or $5,000 fine (259)
Indictable Dispositions
Avail. Disp. same as summary
Maximum 5 years jail
References
Offence Elements
Sentence Principles
Sentence Digests

Legislation[edit]

Flight
249.1

(1) Every one commits an offence who, operating a motor vehicle while being pursued by a peace officer operating a motor vehicle, fails, without reasonable excuse and in order to evade the peace officer, to stop the vehicle as soon as is reasonable in the circumstances.


Punishment

(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1)
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Flight causing bodily harm or death

(3) Every one commits an offence who causes bodily harm to or the death of another person by operating a motor vehicle in a manner described in paragraph 249(1)(a), if the person operating the motor vehicle was being pursued by a peace officer operating a motor vehicle and failed, without reasonable excuse and in order to evade the police officer, to stop the vehicle as soon as is reasonable in the circumstances.


2000, c. 2, s. 1.


CCC

Proof of Offence[edit]

In addition to the essential elements of identity, time and jurisdiction, the prosecution must prove that:[1]

  1. the accused operated a motor vehicle;
  2. the police pursued the vehicle in their own vehicle;
  3. the accused knew a peace officer was pursing them;
  4. the accused failed to stop as soon as reasonably possible in the circumstances;
  5. the absence of a reasonable excuse for failing to stop;
  6. the accused failed to stop in order to evade the police;
  7. the speed of the chase;
  8. signs of dangerous driving and whether any other persons were at risk.

Interpretation[edit]

The passenger can be liable along with the driver where the passenger had “the exercise of a directing authority”. [2]

A “reasonable excuse” for flee police provides a justification for the offence and does not negate any essential element of the offence itself. [3] For example, a desire to think things through goes to motive and still results in a conviction.[4]

Warrantless entry into a dwelling was not permitted when a possibly mentally ill individual reports people breaking into his house.[5]

  1. R. v. Kulchisky, 2007 ABCA 110 at para 4
  2. R. v. Slessor, [1969] O.J. No. 1514 (C.A.)
  3. R. v. Armstrong, 2011 ONCA 709 at 9
  4. R. v. Kulchisky 2007 ABCA 110 at para. 10
    R. v. Fonseca, 2012 BCPC 13 at 81
  5. R. v. Larson, 2011 BCCA 454

Cases[edit]

  • R. v. Kagayalingam, 2006 ONCJ 402 -- convicted