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Is it a Crime to Falsely Identify Yourself to the Police?

Toronto defence lawyers

  • It is possible to be charged with the criminal offence of Obstructing Justice for falsely identifying or refusing to identify yourself to police

Obstruction of Justice is defined in section 139.1 of the Criminal Code

Obstructing justice
139. (1) Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding,

(a) by indemnifying or agreeing to indemnify a surety, in any way and either in whole or in part, or

(b) where he is a surety, by accepting or agreeing to accept a fee or any form of indemnity whether in whole or in part from or in respect of a person who is released or is to be released from custody,

is guilty of

(c) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or

(d) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Idem
(2) Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner other than a manner described in subsection (1) to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

Idem
(3) Without restricting the generality of subsection (2), every one shall be deemed wilfully to attempt to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice who in a judicial proceeding, existing or proposed,

(a) dissuades or attempts to dissuade a person by threats, bribes or other corrupt means from giving evidence;

(b) influences or attempts to influence by threats, bribes or other corrupt means a person in his conduct as a juror; or

(c) accepts or obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a bribe or other corrupt consideration to abstain from giving evidence, or to do or to refrain from doing anything as a juror.

  •  If you are charged with obstructing justice there are defences available to you.
  • In order for you to be found guilty of obstructing justice at trial the Crown Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the offence.
  • Beyond this, there are defences available to you that your criminal defence can explain.
  • For example it is required that the  the police officer(s) involved in the alleged incident  had the right to request the accused’s identification.
  • If the police officer(s) in question is found to not be “in the lawful execution of their duty”, as required by section 129 of the Criminal Code, this may be grounds for the dismissal of your obstruction of justice criminal offence charge.
  • In order for you to be found guilty the Crown Attorney must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt.

Proving obstructing justice, sureties under s. 139(1)(a) or (b) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit “wilfully attempts in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice” by either:
    1. “indemnif[ies] or agree[s] to indemnify a surety” in any way; or
    2. “accept[s] or agree[s] to accept a fee or any form of indemnity” of a person released or to be released from custody; and
  5. the act is done in a “judicial proceeding”.

 

Proving obstructs, perverts or defeats justice under s. 139(2), (3) should include:

  1. the culprit attempts “to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice”;
  2. the prohibited conduct was in any manner other than described in s. 139(1);
  3. where judicial proceedings are existing or proposed, the obstruction will be deemed if the culprit:
    1. “dissuades or attempts to dissuade a person by threats, bribes or other corrupt means from giving evidence”;
    2. “influences or attempts to influence by threats, bribes or other corrupt means a person in his conduct as a juror”; or
    3. “accepts or obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a bribe or other corrupt consideration to abstain from giving evidence, or to do or to refrain from doing anything as a juror.
  • If you have been charged with obstruction of justice or any other criminal offence contact Kostman and Pyzer, Barristers today to find out about the defences that are available to you!

 

 

 

 

1 Aug 2017

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