Among the many questions about Canadian law, one of the most common is what is considered a criminal offense. The answer is that Canada has three basic types of offenses: summary, hybrid, and indictable. Each of these types of crimes has different levels of severity, ranging from minor to major crimes. The laws relating to each type of crime are outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada. Parliament passed this legislation in 1892, and it was revised in 1986. Contact this number to hire reliable criminal lawyers near me.
Summary convictions are less serious crimes than indictable or hybrid offenses. In summary conviction cases, the accused does not need to appear in court. Instead, a judge is tasked with trying the case. A judge-alone trial is required if the Crown and Defense have not agreed to a jury trial. A person who is found guilty in a summary conviction trial does not face jail time. However, a summary offense will still result in a criminal record. In addition, a person convicted of a summary offense may be inadmissible to Canada.
The next type of criminal offense is indictable. Indictable offenses can carry significant penalties, including life in prison. If an indictable offense is prosecuted, the accused has the right to a preliminary inquiry. The provincial Attorney General must also approve the charges. An indictable offense is the most serious of the three types of crimes. It gives the Crown greater authority to request increased penalties. Indicable offenses include murder, kidnapping, and vehicular manslaughter. A person charged with an indictable offense can apply for a preliminary hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice.
A hybrid offense can be a minor crime, such as possession of marijuana, or it can be a more serious crime, such as drug trafficking. The maximum penalty for a hybrid offense is 18 months. As of December 18, 2022, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs will be considered a serious offense. A driver convicted of a DUI will have a criminal record and be placed on long-term supervision in the community. As of January 1, 2023, a person convicted of an assault with bodily harm will have a criminal record and have to attend a rehabilitation program. A person convicted of an assault with bodily harm cannot be rehabilitated in time.