*2023 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Canada-wide warrants for arrest under s. 703 (1) of the Criminal Code

All warrants in Canada are in a sense “Canada wide” because a judge or justice of the peace in any province has the power to enforce or back an out of province warrant under s. 528 (1) of the Criminal Code (CC). If the original warrant was issued under CC s. 703 (1) by a higher court (not OCJ) it will be by default a “Canada-wide warrant” meaning no extra steps are needed to arrest the accused. The Section reads as follows:

Warrant effective throughout Canada

703 (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a warrant of arrest or committal that is issued out of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction, a court of appeal, an appeal court within the meaning of section 812 or a court of criminal jurisdiction other than a provincial court judge acting under Part XIX may be executed anywhere in Canada.

The term Canada-wide warrant is well known because it is often used in police and media press releases when seeking the public’s assistance in locating suspects that are wanted (often for murder and other serious offences). Canada-wide warrants are often first-instance warrants because the police are unable to locate and therefore arrest their suspect.

Putting a warrant out for someone’s arrest allows the person to be easily arrested by any law enforcement agency in Canada and the USA and therefore is an excellent arrest tool in cases where the suspect has fled (whether intentionally or not). Canada-wide warrants are prominently shared in CPIC with all police forces and customs agencies in Canada and the USA which serves as a BOLO for other forces that may come into contact with the suspect (whether they are actively trying to find them or not).

Attaching a BOLO alert signal of a Canada wide warrant to a vehicle licence plate by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation

If the suspect of the Canada wide warrant owns or is thought to be driving a particular vehicle, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will also often attach an alert signal to their licence plate which will show a BOLO Canada-wide warrant alert if the plate is scanned. Many forces use in-car automatic licence plate scanning technology to run plates of vehicles that are in front of them.

Both the CBSA and U.S. Customs (CBP) have plate scanners installed at the land borders and will be aware you are wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant before you even pull up to the gate. Even if automatic scanning technology is not used, the BOLO alert will show when the plate is queried or ran in the police database if the person gets pulled over. This could be for a simple HTA traffic matter or something unrelated to them being wanted/at large.

Whether it is a Canada-wide warrant or not, any warrant is enforceable throughout Canada and often also will be enforced if discovered in ally countries such as the USA and the UK.

Whether the warrant is Canada-wide or not anyone with an outstanding Ontario warrant is arrestable no matter where they are in Canada. Worse case scenario the police just need a quick and simple judicial authorization that can be obtained via a phone call often to a provincial court judge or JP (telewarrant). Most U.S. jurisdictions will also arrest, hold and extradite Canadian citizens with Ontario warrants whether they are s. 703 (1) “Canada wide warrants” or not. Police forces in European and other ally countries may also assist in arresting and extraditing Canadians with warrants if they become aware of them through INTERPOL, someone filing a local police report, or the case is well-known enough for them to be aware of it.

While only a limited number of cases can be high profile enough for mass public awareness especially in foreign countries, many Canada-wide and Ontario 514 warrants are currently outstanding and those individuals are at risk of being arrested and held in custody at any time if local police become aware of this.

Canadian warrants viewed as valid and trustworthy by law enforcement agencies in the US, UK, EU and throughout all western world ally countries

Since Canada is a known democratic "first world" country, warrants issued by Canadian courts are seen as somewhat of a "gold standard" because our legal system is known to be relatively fair, open and is respected similarly to those found in the US, UK, EU and other western countries. International police forces are therefore often keen to act on and enforce Canadian warrants if they become aware of them even if they may not be legally required or obligated to do so.

This is also true of law enforcement in Mexico and many other countries in central and South America. It is important to remember that law enforcement tend to view themselves and operate as a "family" and will not hesitate to arrest and help Canadian police take wanted suspects into custody (it makes them look good).

If you were previously arrested and missed a court or fingerprint date (didn’t show up), or you have been told by the police, CBSA, U.S. Customs or otherwise are aware of an outstanding warrant for your arrest, please give us a call for a no-obligation quote or see our article on arrest warrants in Ontario, Canada for more information.

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Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
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  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
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* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2023 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2023. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel