What are the best defences to a mischief charge?

>>>What are the best defences to a mischief charge?

The best defence to your mischief charge will depend entirely on the specific circumstances of your case. As such, in order to determine the best way to beat your mischief charge, you should contact one of our criminal defence lawyers as soon as possible. We will review all of the evidence that the Crown Prosecutor has against you, and we will be able to effectively determine what defences are available to you and inform you of what options you have going forward. However, some common defences that can be raised when you are facing a mischief charge include arguing that the Crown has not proven identity beyond a reasonable doubt, colour of right, and accident.


Because the Crown needs to prove that it was in fact you who commit the offence before you can be found guilty of mischief, if you can raise a reasonable doubt about the fact that you were the one who commit the crime, you may be acquitted. Identity will often be a live issue in cases where the mischief was committed without any witnesses to the offence, where the witness statements reporting the offence are inconsistent, or where the witnesses that the Crown must rely on to prove your identity do not show up to trial. Sometimes there may not be witnesses or recordings of the offence, and the Crown therefore must rely solely on circumstantial evidence to establish your guilt. If the Crown is relying on only circumstantial evidence to prove your guilt, they will also have the burden of proving that the only inference that can be possibly drawn from the evidence presented at trial is that you are guilty of the offence.

Colour of Right:

Another possible defence to a mischief charge is to show that you thought you were legally permitted to destroy or interfere with the property by colour of right. Colour of right refers to a situation where you honestly and legitimately believed that a particular set of facts were true, when in fact they were not. However, had those facts been true, it would mean that you would not have been guilty of the offence. For example, this will most commonly be the case in situations where you honestly but mistakenly believed that you owned the property, and that you were therefore entitled to do what you wanted with it. If it had been true that the property you damaged or destroyed was wholly yours, you would not have been guilty of committing mischief. However, colour of right will not work as a defence where you believed that you were morally entitled to property, and therefore that it was ‘yours’. In order for the defence of colour of right to work, you need to be able to show that you had a valid reason to believe that you had a legitimate propriety interest in the property in question.


One of the essential elements of mischief that the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is the mens rea element, or that you actually had an intent to commit the mischief. That is, they have to show that on some level you actually intended the results of your mischief, or that you were reckless as to whether you actions would result in the damage or destruction to property. If you damaged property only by accident, you will not have the guilty mind that is required for you to be found guilty of this offence.

For specific information regarding your claim, please select the location that's closest to you.


Glowing Reviews From Our Clients

Excellent service! I would highly recommend going with this team. If I ever need assistance with anything of this manner again, I wouldn’t hesitate to call or email the team at Oykhman Criminal Defence again.



Everyone was very professional and understanding. They explained everything and put me at ease. Any question I had were answered right. If you need help I’d highly recommend this law firm.



Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.