The police can arrest a person when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed or is about to commit an indictable offense, or when they have a warrant for the person’s arrest. The police can also arrest a person when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person is breaching a condition of their bail, probation, or parole.
In addition, s. 494 of the Criminal Code allows a private citizen to arrest someone whom they find committing an indictable offense or whom they believe, on reasonable grounds, has committed an indictable offense.
What is Reasonable and Probable Grounds?
Reasonable and probable grounds is a standard used to determine whether a search, seizure, or arrest is lawful. The standard requires that the police subjective believe that a crime was committed, and that belief is objectively reasonable.
Reasonable grounds refers to the presence of facts, circumstances or evidence that would lead a reasonable person, with the knowledge and experience of the police officer in question, to believe that an offense has been committed. This standard requires more than mere suspicion, but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Probable grounds, on the other hand, refer to the degree of certainty or probability required to believe that the evidence sought will be found in the place to be searched or seized. This standard requires more than a mere possibility, but less than a balance of probabilities.
Overall, the reasonable and probable grounds standard is used to ensure that police searches, seizures, and arrests are conducted in a manner that respects individual rights and freedoms while also allowing for effective law enforcement. If the police do not have reasonable and probable grounds for their actions, any evidence obtained as a result may be excluded from trial, and the charges against the accused may be dropped.
The lawyers at Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh have a wealth of experience dealing with Charter issues. This includes unlawful arrests; searches of homes, vehicles, and wiretap investigations; and right to counsel issues. If you or someone you know has been charged because of a search warrant, please give us a call at 416-613-0416 to schedule a consultation.