LAW220 - Arrest, Search and Force

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-04-11 08:34:13.214
Last review date 2018-04-11 08:34:31.502

Subject Title
Arrest, Search and Force

Subject Description
Few subjects are as integral to the police and security roles as those of arrest, the use of force, and search. In these vital areas, the circumstances under which arrest is justified are discussed, together with the related topics of the use of force in arresting, the immediate search of the person arrested, and the rights of the person arrested. The protections available to the person arresting, and the various situations under which the accused person must be released or may be detained are studied. The broad function of the search of a person, place or vehicle with or without warrant is examined and the law as it pertains to the lawful use of force, and the limits placed on that use. In no other subject is the impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms so strongly felt, and such impacts are discussed as the topic arises.

Credit Status
This is a required credit course in the Police Foundations program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Describe and demonstrate an understanding of the law relative to a citizen’s and a peace officer’s powers of arrest.
  2. Interpret and articulate the law in relation to compelling the appearance of an accused to court.
  3. Examine, classify and assess the law pertaining to the legal limitations on the use of force by citizens and peace officers.
  4. State laws that govern searching persons and buildings without a search warrant.
  5. Identify laws affecting the attaining and execution of a search warrant.
  6. Understand the National Use of Force Response Options.
  7. Summarize tactical communications strategies.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  1. Definitions of legal terms
  2. Classification of criminal offences
  3. Arrest without warrant by anyone
  4. Arrest without warrant by a peace officer
  5. Techniques of arrest
  6. Arrest with warrant
  7. Release procedures
  8. Compelling appearance of accused in court
  9. Search authorities
  10. Search without warrant
  11. Items that may be seized during a lawful search
  12. Types of search warrants
  13. Information to obtain a search warrant
  14. Use of force law
  15. Use of force response options
  16. Tactical communications
  17. Charter of rights and freedoms

Mode of Instruction
This course will be taught using a combination of lectures, practical exercises, and group discussions.

Prescribed Texts
Martin's Annual Criminal Code 2017 Student  & CD;
By Edward L., Greenspan & Marc Rosenberg, Canada Law Book Inc., ISBN#9780888049360

Criminal Law & the Canadian Criminal Code, 6th edition
By Barnhorst, McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd, ISBN#9780070329706

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:
To pass this course, students must achieve the learning outcomes specified in this course outline. This achievement is determined through the completion of all course components. Students must pass both term work and final exam or final assignment (if the final assignment is in lieu of the final exam) in order to pass the course (minimum passing grade 50%).

If you are unable to complete the Final Exam/Assignment in this subject, you must provide documentation to support the absence to the instructor within one week. If necessary, this information will be presented at the promotion meeting for consideration in determining and recommending the final grade.
All assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final examination. Unless students have been granted an extension in advance, late assignments will be penalized accordingly. There is no provision for rewriting late assignments, regardless of the grade awarded. Students must contact faculty in advance of the due date to discuss extensions.

All assignments must be correctly documented using MLA criteria – in-text citations for quotes and paraphrasing; MLA Works Cited page – and follow the criteria established by the instructor, unless otherwise noted. For additional information, please refer to Seneca College MLA Style Guide
If an assignment is missed due to class absence, any official documentation that might be grounds for arranging a make-up opportunity must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities do not apply to all graded assignments.
Test and Exam dates have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable. If a test/exam is missed, the student must provide official documentation to support the reason for the absence within one week to the instructor. Make-up tests or exams will be granted for extenuating circumstances only and at the discretion of the faculty. 

In-class quizzes (2 x 10%) 20%
Assignment 20%
Mid Term 30%
Final Exam 30%

Approved by: Sandra Noble