Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Trespassing at Night
|Trespassing at Night|
|s. 177 of the Crim. Code|
|Election / Plea|
|Avail. Disp.||Discharge (730)
Conditional Sentence (742.1)
|Maximum||6 months jail or $5,000 fine|
Trespassing at night
177. Every one who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, loiters or prowls at night on the property of another person near a dwelling-house situated on that property is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 173.
Proof of the Offence
In addition to the essential elements of time, jurisdiction and identity, the crown should prove:
- the accused loitered or prowled
- it was night at the time
- the accused was on private property at the time
- a private dwelling-house is situated on that property
- there was no lawful excuse for the conduct
"loitering" is purposeless wandering about the area. It includes standing idly around, hanging around, lingering, sauntering, dawdling.
"prowling" is conduct with a specific unlawful goal.
A "lawful excuse" must include (1) a reason that is permissible under the law of the land to be on the property and (2) he must carry out his purpose in a lawful manner.
The burden is on the defence to prove a lawful excuse.
See also: R. v. Butt, 2010 NLTD 58
- R. v. Willis, (1987), 37 C.C.C. (3d) 184, at 186 (B.C. Co. Ct.)
R. c. Cloutier, 1991 CanLII 2831 (QC CA) at para. 154
R. v. Lozowchuk 1984 CarswellSask 268
- R. v. Dillon,  3 C.C.C. 205 (Alta. S.C. App. Div.)
R. c. Cloutier, 1991 CanLII 2831 (QC CA)
R. v. Walczak, 2008 ONCJ 70
R. v. Priestap, 2006 CanLII 12288 (ON CA)
- R. v. Andsten 1960 128 C.C.C. 311 (BCCA)
- R. v. Johnson, 1985 CarswellBC 680 (BCPC)