Powers of Arrest – Section 494 of the Criminal Code

Powers of Arrest – Section 494 of the Criminal Code

When discussing the legal frameworks within which security guards operate in Canada, Powers of Arrest – Section 494 of the Criminal Code holds critical significance. This section delineates the conditions under which individuals, including security guards, can legally perform arrests without a warrant. This blog post aims to clarify these provisions, helping security professionals understand their rights and responsibilitiesthereby ensuring they operate within legal bounds.

Understanding Powers of Arrest – Section 494 of the Criminal Code

Powers of Arrest – Section 494 of the Criminal Code of the Criminal Code allows for the arrest without a warrant under specific conditions. It is vital for security guards and members of the public to comprehend these conditions to ensure their actions are legally justified.

Conditions for Arrest without Warrant

Direct Apprehension of Criminals:

Subsection 494(1)(a): Any person may arrest without a warrant anyone they find committing an indictable offence. This is crucial in situations where immediate action is necessary to prevent the continuation of the crime or to ensure the suspect’s apprehension.

Belief in Commission of Crime and Fresh Pursuit:

Subsection 494(1)(b): This provision allows an arrest without a warrant if the individual has reasonable grounds to believe that the suspect has committed a criminal offence and is freshly pursued by individuals with lawful authority to arrest.

Property-Related Arrests

Subsection 494(2): Property owners or those in lawful possession have the authority to arrest without a warrant if they find someone committing a criminal offence on or in relation to their property. The arrest must be made during the commission of the crime or within a reasonable time afterward if they believe it’s not feasible for a peace officer to make the arrest.

Duty Following Arrest

Subsection 494(3): Individuals who make an arrest without a warrant must immediately deliver the suspect to a peace officer. This ensures that the rights of the arrested individual are protected through legal processing.

Authorization Clarification

Subsection 494(4): This makes it clear that individuals making an arrest under this section are legally authorized to do so, aligning with the provisions of section 25 which deals with the protection and defense legally available to those who enforce the law.

Practical Implications for Security Guards

Understanding the powers granted under Section 494 is essential for security guards, ensuring they perform their duties within the legal framework established by the Canadian legal system.

Indictable vs. Summary Offences

  • Summary Conviction Offences: These are less severe crimes, typically resulting in lighter penalties. Security guards must exercise caution as the conditions allowing arrests for such offences without a warrant are more restrictive.
  • Indictable Offences: These are more severe, and the law provides broader powers to arrest without a warrant to prevent the continuation of such crimes.
  • Dual Procedure or Hybrid Offences: Depending on the severity, the Crown decides whether these offences are treated as indictable or summary, affecting how security guards can lawfully respond.
Security Guard Training and Responsibilities

Proper training in legal knowledge, use of force, and effective communication is vital for security guards especially understanding Powers of Arrest – Section 494 of the Criminal Code. This ensures they not only understand their rights to make arrests but also their responsibilities to act lawfully, ethically, and safely.

Section 494 of the Criminal Code provides essential legal backing for security guards and others in similar roles to make arrests under specific circumstances without a warrant. It is a powerful section that balances individual freedoms with the necessity of maintaining public order and safety. Security guards must be well-versed in the nuances of this law to ensure their actions are legally justified and to protect the rights of all individuals involved.

Understanding and applying these legal provisions correctly is not just about compliance but also about enhancing the trust and safety of the communities that security guards serve. Through comprehensive training and a deep understanding of legal boundaries, security professionals can perform their duties confidently and competently. If you are looking to become a licensed security guard in Ontario or to take a Use of Force class, visit our website today to purchase. Our Security training is only $99.99 + tax and is completely online for you to complete at your own pace. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is Section 494 Criminal Code security?

Under section 494(1), anyone may arrest a person whom they find committing an indictable offence, or who, on reasonable grounds, they believe has committed a criminal offence and is escaping from and freshly pursued by persons who have lawful authority to arrest that person.

What is the Criminal Code 495?

Section 495(1) allows a peace officer to arrest without a warrant a person who has committed an indictable offence, or who is believed to have committed or is about to commit such an offence; a person found committing any criminal offence; or a person for whom there are reasonable grounds to believe a warrant of arrest is in force within the jurisdiction.

What is the Criminal Code 492?

Section 492.2 provides that a justice or judge can issue a warrant to obtain transmission data believed to assist in the investigation of an offence. This warrant authorizes the installation and use of a transmission data recorder but explicitly forbids the collection of tracking data.

What is Section 493 of the Criminal Code of Canada?

Section 493 ensures that all accused individuals, including those issued an appearance notice, are entitled to the same legal protections, ensuring fairness in the legal process.

What is the law of 494?

Section 494(1) allows any person to arrest without a warrant another person they find committing an indictable offence or whom they, on reasonable grounds, believe has committed a criminal offence and is being freshly pursued by someone authorized to arrest.

What is Section 494 495?

Section 494 allows any person to make an arrest without a warrant under certain conditions related to property and the immediate discovery of criminal offences. Section 495 outlines the powers of peace officers to arrest without a warrant under broader circumstances including belief of future commission of indictable offences.

What is the penalty for trespassing in Canada?

Under section 177 of the Criminal Code, trespassing at night is an offence punishable on summary conviction, applicable when someone without lawful excuse loiters or prowls at night near a dwelling-house on another’s property.

What is bigamy according to the Criminal Code?

Bigamy, under section 290, occurs when an individual, already married, goes through a form of marriage with another person. This section also outlines defenses available to the accused, such as believing the spouse was dead or absent for seven years.

What is Criminal Code of Canada 497?

Section 497 allows a peace officer to issue an appearance notice instead of arresting a person if it’s not necessary to immediately take the person into custody to satisfy public interest, ensuring less severe handling of minor offences.

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