CRIMINAL LAW ACT
An Act to make provision for the punishment of certain
[ SECTIONS 2-6: 31ST DECEMBER 1979
SECTION 7: 24TH DECEMBER 1936]
1. This Act may be cited as the Criminal Law Act.
2. (1) All distinctions between felony and misdemeanour are hereby abolished.
(2) Subject to this Act, on all matters on which adistinction has previously been made between felony andmisdemeanour including mode of trial, the law and practice inrelation to all offences cognisable under the law of Trinidad andTobago (including piracy) shall be the law and practice applicableon 31st December 1979 in relation to misdemeanour.
(3) The provisions set out in the Schedule (being
transitional and other provisions related to the abolition of the
distinction between felonies and misdemeanours) shall have effect
as from 31st December 1979.
2A. (1) Where a person embarks upon the commission of an
arrestable offence involving violence and someone is killed in the
course or furtherance of that offence (or any other arrestable offence
involving violence), he and all other persons engaged in the course
or furtherance of the commission of that arrestable offence (or any
other arrestable offence involving violence) are liable to be
convicted of murder even if the killing was done without intent to
kill or to cause grievous bodily harm.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), a killing done in
the course or for the purpose of—
(a) resisting a member of the security forces acting
in the execution of his duties or of a person
assisting a member so acting;
(b) resisting or avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest;
(c) effecting or assisting an escape or rescue from legal custody,shall be treated as a killing in the course or furtherance of an arrestable offence involving violence.
(3) In subsection (2), “member of the security forces”
means a member of—
(a) the Police Service;
(b) the Prison Service;
(c) the Fire Service;
(d) the Defence Force;
(e) the Supplemental Police established under the
Supplemental Police Act.
3. (1) The powers of summary arrest conferred by the following subsections shall apply to capital offences or offences for which a person (not previously convicted) may, under or by virtue of any written law be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years, and to attempts to commit any such offence; and in this Act, including any amendment made by the Law Revision (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 1) Act 1979 in any other written law, “arrestable offence” means any such offence or attempt.
(2) Any person may arrest without warrant anyone who is, or whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be, in the act of committing an arrestable offence.
(3) Where an arrestable offence has been committed, any person may arrest without warrant nyone who is, or whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be, guilty of the offence.
(4) Where a police officer, with reasonable cause, suspects that an arrestable offence has been committed, he may arrest without warrant anyone whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects
to be guilty of the offence.
(5) A police officer may arrest without warrant any person who is, or whom he, with reasonable ause, suspects to be, about to commit an arrestable offence. Arrest without warrant.
(6) For the purposes of arresting a person under any power conferred by this section a police officer may enter (if need be, by force) and search any place where that person is or where the police
officer, with reasonable cause, suspects him to be.
(7) This section shall not affect the operation of any written law restricting the institution of roceedings for an offence, nor prejudice any power of arrest conferred by law apart from
4. (1) A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons
unlawfully at large.
(2) Subsection (1) shall replace the rules of the common law on the question when force used for a purpose mentioned in the subsection is justified by that purpose.
5. (1) Where a person has committed an arrestable offence, any other person who, knowing or believing him to be guilty of the offence or of some other arrestable offence, does without lawful
authority or reasonable excuse any act with intent to impede his apprehension or prosecution is guilty of an offence.
(2) If on the trial of an indictment of an arrestable offencethe jury are satisfied that the offence charged (or some otheroffence of which the accused might on that charge be found guilty)was committed, but find the accused not guilty of it, they mayfind him guilty of any offence under subsection
(1) of which they are satisfied that he is guilty in relation to the offence charged(or that other offence).
(3) A person committing an offence under subsection
(1)with intent to impede another person’s apprehension or prosecution shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment
according to the gravity of the other person’s offence, as follows:
(a) if that offence is a capital offence, he is liable to imprisonment for ten years; Use of force in making arrest,etc.
(b) if it is one for which a person (not previously convicted) may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years, he is liable to imprisonment for seven years;
(c) if it is not one included in paragraphs (a) and (b)but is one for which a person (not previously convicted) may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of ten years, he is liable to imprisonment for five years;
(d) in any other case, he is liable to imprisonment for not more than three years.
(4) No proceedings shall be instituted for an offence under subsection
(1) except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions but this subsection shall not prevent the arrest,or the issue of a warrant for the arrest, of a person for such an offence, or the remand in custody, or on bail of a person charged with such an offence
(5) Offences under subsection
(l), and incitement to commit them, shall be included in the Second Schedule to the Summary Courts Act where that Schedule includes or is under any written law to be treated as including the arrestable offence to which they relate.
(6) For purposes of the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act, offences in relation to an extraditable offence which in Trinidad and Tobago would be offences under subsection
(1) shall be extraditable offences and be deemed to be included in the First Schedule to that Act.
6. (1) Where a person has committed an arrestable offence,any other person who, knowing or believing that the offence or some other arrestable offence has been committed, and that he has information which might be of material assistance in securing the
prosecution or conviction of an offender for it, accepts or agrees to accept for not disclosing that information any consideration other
than the making good of loss or injury caused by the offence, or the making of reasonable compensation for that loss or injury, is
liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for two years.