430. (1) Mischief – Every one commits mischief who willfully

(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.

The charge of mischief can be applied to a wide variety of scenarios.  As with any criminal offence, however, a conviction which results in a criminal record can have long-term consequences which reach beyond the courtroom.

The offence is classified as a hybrid offence, punishable by either indictment or by summary conviction.  Penalties vary depending upon the type and value of property involved.  In some circumstances, however, where mischief causes actual danger to life, the offender is liable to life imprisonment.


1) R. v. P.

Client arrested and charged with mischief and theft under $5,000 after a fire alarm was pulled at a UBC Okanagan student residence building and a fire extinguisher was removed.  Emergency personnel were forced to respond accordingly.  In addition to the criminal charges, the UBC Okanagan Misconduct Committee met to confirm his dismissal from the University.  Following Wade Jenson’s presentation to the Committee, they were unable to hold his client responsible for the conduct alleged.  Discipline proceedings concluded, and criminal CHARGES DISMISSED.

2) R. v. F

Client arrested intoxicated after smashing through the glass patio door of a Kelowna apartment building with his bare hands, terrifying the elderly resident. Criminal lawyer Wade Jenson was retained. ABSOLUTE DISCHARGE. No fine, no probation, no record.