Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Public Mischief



Public mischief
140. (1) Every one commits public mischief who, with intent to mislead, causes a peace officer to enter on or continue an investigation by

(a) making a false statement that accuses some other person of having committed an offence;
(b) doing anything intended to cause some other person to be suspected of having committed an offence that the other person has not committed, or to divert suspicion from himself;
(c) reporting that an offence has been committed when it has not been committed; or
(d) reporting or in any other way making it known or causing it to be made known that he or some other person has died when he or that other person has not died.


See also:

  • "statement" (s. 118)
  • "peace officer" (s. 2)
  • s.585

Proof of Offence

  1. identity of accused
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. accused conveyed information to a peace officer, directly or indirectly, by words, writing, or conduct
  5. the information conveyed was false
  6. the information caused the officer to enter or continue an investigation
  7. the accused intended to cause the officer to enter or continue an investigation
  8. file the statement if written



Public Mischief consists of causing a peace officer to begin or continue an investigation.

"offence" can mean both criminal code offences as well as provincial offences of a penal nature. [1]

There is no need for a voir dire to determine admissibility of the accused's utterances to a police officer.[2]

  1. R. v. Howard (1972), 7 CCC 2d 211 (Ont.CA)
  2. R. v. Stapleton (1982) 66 CCC 2d 231 (Ont.CA)

See Also