section 177


Loitering or prowling at night on someone elses property near a dwelling-house without lawful excuse is a punishable offence.


177 Every one who, without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, loiters or prowls at night on the property of another person near a dwelling-house situated on that property is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offense of loitering or prowling on private property without lawful excuse, where a dwelling-house is located. The section prohibits individuals from being on someone else's property during the night, under suspicious circumstances without permission. The essential elements that must be established to prove the offense require the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knowingly remained on someone else's property without authorization or lawful excuse, in the immediate vicinity of a dwelling-house, and with the intention to commit an offense, or with reckless disregard for the safety of the residents of the property. A person may be charged with an offense under section 177 if they are caught prowling, attempting to steal or burglarize the property, or engage in any other activity that may be reasonably interpreted as suspicious, with the intent to commit a crime. It should be noted that the onus of proof rests on the crown to prove that the accused had no lawful excuse or authorization to be on the property. Individuals who are legitimately engaged in lawful activities such as visiting friends or family members, delivering mail or supplies, or carrying out their work-related duties, have a lawful excuse to be on someone else's property and are not subject to prosecution under section 177. In conclusion, section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada is designed to protect the sanctity of private residential property and to deter criminal activity that may harm or threaten residents. The section provides a means for the Police to intervene and to prosecute individuals who engage in unlawful activities on private property, with the aim of safeguarding homes, properties, and individuals.


Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada criminalizes a type of behavior that is often associated with criminal activity, that is, loitering or prowling on someone else's property at night. The section places a duty on individuals to comport themselves in a way that does not pose a threat or cause fear to others, particularly those who live in the vicinity of the property in question. The section applies to anyone who without lawful excuse, loiters or prowls at night on the property of another person near a dwelling-house situated on that property. The section requires proof that the individual is on the property without a legal reason for being there and was present in a manner that suggests that they were there to commit an offence. This means that the police or prosecutor must be able to demonstrate that the individual had no legitimate reason to be on the property, such as to visit the owner, to attend an event, or to carry out a lawful activity. The section specifies that the offense is punishable on summary conviction, which means that it is a minor criminal offence for which the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $5000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both. The punishment for a first-time offender is generally a fine. However, repeat offenders may face imprisonment of up to six months. The section also permits law enforcement officers to arrest an individual who violates this provision and to enter the property to investigate the reason for being present on the property without permission. The purpose of section 177 is to deter people from engaging in suspicious behavior that could potentially harm others, disturb the peace, or cause damage to the property in question. The section is part of the Criminal Code's broader objective to protect citizens from crime and maintain law and order within society. It seeks to balance individual liberty and safety by giving citizens the right to use and enjoy their property without the fear of intrusion or trespass by others. The constitutionality of section 177 has been challenged on the basis that it violates an individual's right to be free from arbitrary detention and search. The argument is that the provision gives police officers a broad discretionary power to arrest anyone who they deem to be loitering or prowling on someone else's property without any legal justification. The Supreme Court of Canada has, however, upheld the provision's constitutionality and recognized that reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is sufficient to justify a brief detention and investigation. In conclusion, section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that seeks to prevent suspicious behavior and protect citizens from crime. While it is often targeted at potential burglars and other criminals, it also provides a measure of protection to law-abiding citizens who want to use and enjoy their property without disturbance or fear of harm. The section's constitutionality has been upheld by the courts, and it remains an important tool for law enforcement and prosecutors to maintain public safety and order. It is essential that citizens are aware of their responsibilities under the law and avoid engaging in behavior that may be considered suspicious or illegal.


Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a law that is intended to protect people from unauthorized and potentially dangerous individuals who loiter and prowl near their homes. The provisions of this law are intended to deter potential criminals from attempting to enter onto the property of others surreptitiously and without lawful purpose. When dealing with Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that should be taken into account. One of the most important considerations is the burden of proof. Under this law, the burden of proof lies with the accused, who must provide evidence that they had a lawful reason to be on the property in question. Another strategic consideration when dealing with Section 177 is the timing and location of the incident. The law applies specifically to individuals who are loitering or prowling on the property of another person near a dwelling-house situated on that property. As such, it is important to determine whether the accused was actually on the property in question, and whether they were there at a time when it is generally considered to be nighttime. There are a number of strategies that can be employed when dealing with Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada. One strategy is to investigate the incident thoroughly, including interviewing witnesses and gathering any available evidence. This can help to establish whether the accused had a legitimate reason for being on the property, and whether they were actually loitering or prowling. Another strategy that can be effective is to challenge the validity of the charge itself. For example, if there is reason to believe that the accused was not actually on the property at the time of the incident, or if there is evidence to suggest that the property in question was not actually a dwelling-house, the charge may be dismissed. In some cases, it may be necessary to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution in order to obtain a more favorable outcome for the accused. This may involve admitting to a lesser offense or accepting a reduced sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to the charge. Ultimately, the best strategy for dealing with Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help to determine the most effective course of action and ensure that the accused's rights and interests are protected throughout the legal process.