Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Obstruction of a Peace Officer

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Obstruction of a Peace Officer
s. 129 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Hybrid
Jurisdiction Prov. Court
SC Judge + PI (I)
SC Jury + PI (I) (536(2))
Summary Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)

Conditional Sentence (742.1)
Maximum 6 months jail or $5,000 fine
Indictable Dispositions
Avail. Disp. same as summary
Maximum 2 years jail
Offence Elements
Sentence Principles
Sentence Digests

Legislation[edit | edit source]

The Criminal Codes states:

129. Every one who

(a) resists or wilfully obstructs a public officer or peace officer in the execution of his duty or any person lawfully acting in aid of such an officer,
(b) omits, without reasonable excuse, to assist a public officer or peace officer in the execution of his duty in arresting a person or in preserving the peace, after having reasonable notice that he is required to do so, or
(c) resists or wilfully obstructs any person in the lawful execution of a process against lands or goods or in making a lawful distress or seizure,

is guilty of

(d) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(e) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 118; 1972, c. 13, s. 7.


Proof of Offence[edit | edit source]

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

  1. the complainant was a peace officer within the meaning of s. 2
  2. the peace officer was engaged in lawful duty at all relevant times[2]
    1. If the officer was undertaking an arrest, there were reasonable grounds to do so
  3. the accused knew that the complainant was a peace officer (e.g. could see the officer's uniform, utterance of officer)
  4. the accused obstructed the officer and
  5. the obstruction was wilful

  1. R. v. Quinones, 2012 BCCA 94 at 9
  2. R. v. Bowen-Courville 2007 CanLII 736 (ONSC)

Interpretation[edit | edit source]

In R v Soltys (1980) 56 CCC (2d) 43 at p 45, the BC Court of Appeal, cited Black's Law Dictionary, stated "obstruct" means "to impede; to interpose impediments to the hindrance or frustration of some act or service; such as to obstruct an officer in the execution of his duty".

Cases[edit | edit source]

  • R v Tidball 2012 SKPC 28 -- not guilty -- arresting for intoxication, arrest not valid