The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides people with the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure by government agencies and/or officials. This right is derived from section 8 of the Charter. In the context of an arrest, section 8 protects an individual from being physically seized by the government. When an individual is arrested, they are physically seized by the police and taken into custody. Section 8 ensures that the police cannot seize, or arrest, a person unless it is reasonable to do so and in accordance with the law.
To protect this right, law enforcement officials may need an arrest warrant to arrest a person in certain situations. To get an arrest warrant, the police officer will go to a judge and explain why they have reasonable grounds to believe the accused person has committed a criminal offence and should be arrested. If the judge is satisfied that reasonable grounds exist, they will issue the arrest warrant and the police will execute it, arresting the individual.
Pursuant to section 495(1) of the Criminal Code, there are several circumstances where an officer may arrest an individual without an arrest warrant. An officer may arrest a person without a warrant where the person has committed an indictable offence, or where the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the accused has committed or is about to commit an indictable offence. An officer may also arrest an individual without a warrant where the officer finds the person actively committing a criminal offence. Finally, an officer may arrest an individual without a warrant where the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the accused person has a warrant out for their arrest or committal in the jurisdiction.