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Mischief - Kruse Law

Is Mischief a Crime?

In Canada, mischief is a criminal offence commonly defined as causing police officers to initiate or continue investigations with the intent to mislead them. This includes making of false statements, performing any action that causes another person to be wrongfully accused, making a false police report, or falsely reporting the death of another person.

Mischief charges carry strong penalties designed to discourage folks from implicating innocent people or making unnecessary use of law enforcement resources.

What Are the Elements of Mischief?

To convict a defendant of mischief charges, the Crown Prosecutor must prove:

–       The defendant reported an offence;
–       The defendant’s actions or words in the case were false;
–       The defendant willfully intended to mislead police officers;
–       The defendant’s words or actions caused police officers to initiate or continue a criminal investigation.

If it cannot be proven that the defendant committed the offence of mischief, then they are entitled to an acquittal. If the police officer is not misled by the false statements or reports, the accused may be acquitted of mischief, but may be convicted on attempted public mischief.

Mischief is commonly associated with information given directly to law enforcement representatives, however, it may also be applied in cases where the defendant’s words were passed along to police officers, thereby providing false information to form the basis of an investigation or filing of charges.

The maximum punishment for the crime of public mischief is five years in jail, however every case is unique and judges may impose stronger penalties if they believe that circumstances warrant. If you’ve been charged with mischief and are facing these severe consequences, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your rights and give yourself the best chance of mounting a successful defence.

The Kruse Law Firm – Experienced Ontario Criminal and DUI Defence Lawyers

Based in Ontario, the Kruse Law Firm has been providing top tier criminal legal defence for the last 20 years, specializing in criminal law defence but widely acknowledged as one of the leaders in DUI defence strategies.  “Tell us your side – we’ll handle it” is the mantra by which Michael Kruse and his team of legal professionals operate, wanting each of their clients to rest assured that their case is in the best possible hands, and knowing that they will be properly represented when their day in court arrives. Michael Kruse has earned a reputation within the legal community for passion, commitment, and expertise across all areas of criminal law. Call (519) 744-0973 or send an e-mail to for a free, no-obligation consultation.