Mischief

What is Mischief?

Mischief is a property offence that occurs when a person:

  1. destroys or damages property;
  2. renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective
  3. obstructs, interrupts, or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or
  4. obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment, or operation of property.

What if the Person Owns the Property?

If someone does any action mentioned above to property that is wholly owned by that person, then he/she is not guilty of mischief under the Criminal Code. There must be a person independent of the interferer that has an interest in the property in order for mischief to occur.

What are the Penalties for Mischief?

If you are found guilty of mischief, sentences can range from fines of $1,000.00 to imprisonment of up to 30 days.

Applicable Legislation

Mischief

430 (1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully

(a) destroys or damages property;

(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;

(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or

(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.

Mischief in Relation to Computer Data

(1.1) Everyone commits mischief who wilfully

(a) destroys or alters computer data;

(b) renders computer data meaningless, useless or ineffective;

(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use of computer data; or

(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with a person in the lawful use of computer data or denies access to computer data to a person who is entitled to access to it.

Punishment

(2) Every one who commits mischief that causes actual danger to life is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

Punishment

(3) Every one who commits mischief in relation to property that is a testamentary instrument or the value of which exceeds five thousand dollars

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Idem

(4) Every one who commits mischief in relation to property, other than property described in subsection (3),

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Mischief relating to religious property

(4.1) Every one who commits mischief in relation to property that is a building, structure or part thereof that is primarily used for religious worship, including a church, mosque, synagogue or temple, or an object associated with religious worship located in or on the grounds of such a building or structure, or a cemetery, if the commission of the mischief is motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin,

 (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

Mischief relating to war memorials

(4.11) Everyone who commits mischief in relation to property that is a building, structure or part thereof that primarily serves as a monument to honour persons who were killed or died as a consequence of a war, including a war memorial or cenotaph, or an object associated with honouring or remembering those persons that is located in or on the grounds of such a building or structure, or a cemetery is guilty of an indictable offence or an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable,

(a) whether the offence is prosecuted by indictment or punishable on summary conviction, to the following minimum punishment, namely,

(i) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000,

(ii) for a second offence, to imprisonment for not less than 14 days, and

(iii) for each subsequent offence, to imprisonment for not less than 30 days;

(b) if the offence is prosecuted by indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years; and

(c) if the offence is punishable on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 18 months.

Mischief in relation to cultural property

(4.2) Every one who commits mischief in relation to cultural property as defined in Article 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, done at The Hague on May 14, 1954, as set out in the schedule to the Cultural Property Export and Import Act,

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

 Mischief in relation to computer data

(5) Everyone who commits mischief in relation to computer data

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Offence

(5.1) Everyone who wilfully does an act or wilfully omits to do an act that it is their duty to do, if that act or omission is likely to constitute mischief causing actual danger to life, or to constitute mischief in relation to property or computer data,

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Saving

(6) No person commits mischief within the meaning of this section by reason only that

(a) he stops work as a result of the failure of his employer and himself to agree on any matter relating to his employment;

(b) he stops work as a result of the failure of his employer and a bargaining agent acting on his behalf to agree on any matter relating to his employment; or

(c) he stops work as a result of his taking part in a combination of workmen or employees for their own reasonable protection as workmen or employees.

Idem

(7) No person commits mischief within the meaning of this section by reason only that he attends at or near or approaches a dwelling-house or place for the purpose only of obtaining or communicating information.

Definition of computer data

(8) In this section, computer data has the same meaning as in subsection 342.1(2).

Next Step?

If you or someone you know has been charged with mischief, or is being investigated for mischief, call Lakin Afolabi now. Lakin Afolabi is a criminal lawyer in Windsor, Ontario, and has considerable experience handling mischief and other property offences. Call Lakin today and book a consultation.

Contact Lakin Afolabi now for a consultation.

Call anytime, day or night, (519)-495-0870