2. Federal Statute that reflects the social values of
Canadians which is amended (changed) to
reflect society’s changing values.
internet distribution of child pornography
removal of criminal record for personal
possession of Marijuana.
3. The Criminal Code is the main body of criminal
law and identified hundreds of acts that are
considered criminal. The offences listed in the
Code are worded very precisely so that citizens
are not wrongfully arrested on a criminal
charge. The elements required by the Crown
must be worded precisely so that they can
obtain a proper conviction.
4. Three levels of offences:
1. Summary Conviction
3. Indictable (in-DIE-table)
Summary Conviction Offences
Minor offences generally with light penalty
▪ conviction of summary conviction can be fined up to
$2000 and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months
Cases pass through courts quickly. Tried by judge only
5. Indictable Offences
Serious crimes carrying heavier penalties
▪ Maximum penalty ranges from 2 years to life imprisonment
▪ Sometimes indictable offences have minimum sentences
(robbery with firearm -4 years; murder life imprisonment)
Method of trial differs according to severity of the sentence of the
▪ Less than 5 years – trial in ProvincialCourt or Superior Court by judge
▪ More than 5 years – accused can choose for trial in Superior Court with
judge or judge and jury.
▪ Most serious indictable offences (murder, treason) must be tried in
Superior court (see chart p. 222)
6. Hybrid (Dual Procedure) Offences
Crown decides whether to proceed as a
summary conviction or indictable offence
Always treated as indictable until Crown lays charge
Depends on the circumstances of the case
▪ i.e.Theft under $5000 – first offence of stealing something
worth $100 most likely Crown would proceed as summary
instead of indictable.
7. PERIOD 3
Law in Action 1st Edition Page 224
Case: R v. Quinlan #1-2
BuildingYour Understanding #2-4(a)
Law in Action 2nd Edition Page 223-224
Case: R v. Mitchell #1-3
BuildingYour Understanding #2-4(a)
8. Violent crimes are offences that harm the
human body in some way.
Approximately 13 percent of all Criminal Code
offences are of a violent nature.
9. The Criminal Code defines homicide in the
222. (1) A person commits homicide when directly
or indirectly, by any means, causes the death of a
Two main types of homicide:
culpable (‘blameable’) – killing for which the
accused can be held legally responsible. Ex.
Murder, infanticide, manslaughter
non-culpable – killing for which the accused can
not be held legally responsible. Ex. Accident,
soldier under orders during war, self-defence
Killing another human being, directly or indirectly is
homicide. Homicide is a criminal offence if it is
culpable (deserving of blame) Murder,
manslaughter and infanticide are culpable
homicide. Non-culpable homicide is not criminal
and occurs when death is caused by a complete
accident or in self-defence.
The most serious violent crime is
murder. An accused may be found
guilty even if he/she did not have
intent to kill.
ex. If Ann tries to shoot Bill but her shot kills Fred
instead, Ann is still guilty of murder even though she
didn’t intent to kill Fred. If Bob wants revenge on Jim
by committing arson, and the fire kills May who was in
the building, Bob is still charged with murder even
though he didn’t have intent to hurt May.
12. In Canada there are two classes of murder: first-degree murder
and second-degree murder.
First-degree murder occurs if any one of the following situations
murder is planned and deliberate. ex. murder for hireplanned
and deliberate are not the same. Planned refers to a “scheme
or design” that has been thought out carefully. The person
must have carefully considered and
weighed the consequences
of his/her actions.
considered and not impulsive.
13. victim is a law enforcement agent,
such a police officer or someone
working in a prison.
death occurs while another offensive crime is being committed.
i.e. hijacking, sexual assault, threats or causing bodily harm to a
third party, kidnapping
murder caused while committing or attempting to commit and
offence related to criminal harassment.
murder committed while using explosives to commit an offence
in association with a criminal organization
murder committed while committing, or attempting to commit,
an indictable offence that could also be considered a terrorist
14. Murder that does not fit into any of the
above categories, but is still caused
intentionally, is classified as second-
degree. The minimum sentence for both
first-degree and second-degree murder is
15. The mandatory sentence for both
first degree and second degree
murder is life imprisonment.
only difference is the date
at which the offence can apply
Offender convicted of First degree murder serves 25
years before qualifying for parole.
An offender convicted of second degree murder can
usually apply for parole after serving 10 years.
16. Infanticide is the killing of a newborn by his or
means the accused has not yet recovered from
the effects of childbirth and is suffering from:
The maximum punishment is imprisonment for
5 years. Infanticide is seldom seen in the courts.
17. The Criminal Code
defines manslaughter as
any culpable homicide
that is not murder or
The actus reus of manslaughter consists of
killing someone through a wrongful act,
even if the killing of the individual was not
18. Ex. Nelson and Jimbo are
fighting in a barroom
brawl. Nelson punches
Jimbo in the jaw, knocking
him backwards and causing
him to hit his head on the edge of the pool table.
Jimbo dies later that night from internal bleeding
caused by the severe concussion. Nelson wanted to
hit Jimbo but didn’t mean to kill him but Jimbo died as
a direct result of Nelson’s actions. Nelson will be
arrested and charged with manslaughter.
19. The mens rea of this
offence is that any
reasonable person could
have foreseen that the
wrongful act would pose
a risk of bodily harm that
was neither insignificant
To be found guilty of manslaughter, the
offender did not foresee that the wrongful
act could result in death.
20. Sometimes, people charged with murder are
convicted of manslaughter. This happens if the
accused successfully uses one of two defences:
It must be shown that the accused caused another’s
death “in the heat of passion caused by sudden
provocation.” The provocation must be a wrongful act
or insult, and must be something that would cause an
ordinary person to lose self-control (except for drugs
and alcohol). If, after being provoked, the accused has
time to plan the killing of the other person, the charge
will be murder not manslaughter.
21. 2. Intoxication
Intoxication is often significant in
murder cases because being drunk or
“high” can affect a person’s ability to
predict the consequences of his or her
intentions. The Crown must prove
both the killing and the necessary
intent if the accused uses intoxication
as a defence. If there is doubt as to
the ability to form the necessary
intent because the accused ingested
alcohol or drugs, the accused must be
found guilty of manslaughter, not
22. It is an offence to counsel or help anyone to commit
suicide. Until 1972, it was also an offence to attempt
suicide. Assisted suicide is a controversial issue.
Some chronically ill people have argued they have the
right to assistance if they want to end their suffering.
Disability groups often oppose legalizing assisted
suicide because they believe people
who have disabilities may be
pressured to end their lives.
23. A related issue is euthanasia (mercy killing). This
means one person acts to end the life of another.
There are different levels of consent for euthanasia:
voluntary and involuntary euthanasia.
Voluntary euthanasia occurs when a patient expresses
the wish to die either in writing or verbally.
Involuntary euthanasia would occur if the individual is
unable to make his/her wishes known or does not
want to die despite his/her condition.
24. Assisted suicide, voluntary and involuntary
suicides are all considered homicide under the
Criminal Code. However, cases involving elderly,
disabled spouses are often dealt with
compassionately by the courts.
Under Canadian law, patients are allowed to
refuse treatment if they are of sound mind. The
problem is if the patient is not of sound mind.
Patients are encouraged in some provinces to
sign care directives so their guardians will know
what they want. Without a care directive, legal
guardians and physicians make the decisions
based on medical ethics and human rights
25. The most common form of violent crime is assault
(76% of all reported violent crimes). The Criminal
Code classifies assault according to three levels.
2. Assault with a weapon
or causing bodily harm
3. Aggravated Assault
Level one of assault is a hybrid offence and carries a
maximum penalty of 5 years’ imprisonment. Ex.
Pushing someone or threatening someone with
26. Words by themselves cannot be considered an assault;
they must be accompanied by an act or gesture. Assault
occurs when any one of the following occurs:
Intentionally applying force to another person, either
directly or indirectly, without that person’s consent.
Attempting or threatening by act or gesture to apply
Accosting or impeding another person, or begging,
while opening wearing or carrying a weapon or an
imitation of a weapon
27. Level two of assault is assault with a weapon
or causing bodily harm. This type of assault
is defined as injuring a person in a way that
serious consequences for the victim’s health
or comfort. It may also involve carrying,
using, or threatening to use a weapon. This is
a hybrid offence and carries a
maximum penalty of 10
28. Level three of assault is the most violent form
and is called aggravated assault. Aggravated
assault is defined as wounding, maiming,
disfiguring, or endangering the life of the
victim. This is an indictable offence and
carries a maximum
penalty of 14
years in prison.
Before 1983 only two types of sexual assault were in the Criminal
Code: rape and indecent assault. In 1983, new legislation was
introduced that reclassified sexual assault into 3 levels or
categories similar to those used in regular assault cases. These
changes were made for several reasons.
First, the Justice Department wanted to emphasize that ‘sexual
assault involves physical violence against another person.”
Second, it wanted to recognize that spouses could be charged
with sexual assault and that the victims could be either male or
The three levels of sexual assault are:
Level 1 – Sexual Assault
Level 2 – Sexual Assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or
causing bodily harm
Level 3 – Aggravated Sexual Assault
The first level of sexual assault is the most common offence and the
one where the victim suffers the least physical injury. Although not
specifically defined in the Criminal Code, generally speaking, it may be
defined as a violation of the victim’s sexual integrity which usually
involves touching of a sexual nature that is not invited or consensual.
97% of all sexual assault cases fall into this category which is a hybrid
offence and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The second level of sexual assault is sexual assault with a
weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily
harm and involves a sexual assault in combination with
threats or the use of weapons, or that results in bodily
harm. This is an indictable offence and carries a
maximum sentence of 14 years.
The third level of sexual assault is aggravated sexual
assault which is defined as the maiming, wounding,
disfiguring or endangering the life of the victim of sexual
assault. Because this is the most violent level of sexual
assault an offender can receive up to life imprisonment.
32. Sexual Assault
Consent is a valid defence to the charge of sexual
assault if the accused person had an honest and
reasonable, even if mistaken belief that the victim was
consenting to sexual contact. However consent
cannot be used as a defence in three instances:
•when a victim says no, either by words or conduct, such as directly
repulsing physical advances or struggling to escape an embrace
•when the accused is intoxicated and not able to determine if consent
has been given
•when the accused person was reckless and deliberately blind to the
victim’s responses or failed to take reasonable steps to find out if the
victim was consenting
33. Most motor vehicle offences, such as
speeding or failing to stop at a red light are
under provincial jurisdiction.
As a result, they are not addressed in the Criminal
However, because of their seriousness, the
following offences ARE contained in the
34. A ‘motor vehicle’ is defined in the Criminal Code
as a vehicle that is drawn, propelled, or driven by
any means other than muscular power.
Such vehicles include cars, snowmobiles,
motorcycles, motor boats and all-terrain vehicles.
To convict an accused of dangerous operation of
a motor vehicle, the Crown must prove that the
safety or lives of others were endangered
because the driver failed to exercise the same
care a prudent driver would have exercised
under the same conditions.
35. This offence can be committed in a number of ways, depending on
the manner and circumstances in which the vehicle is operated.
Ex. Bob is late for work. On his way, he drives over the speed limit
and passes another motorist on the double line, forcing an on-
coming car off the road.
Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is a hybrid offence
punishable for a term of up to 5 years.
Dangerous operation causing bodily harm is an indictable offence
with a maximum punishment of 10 years.
If someone driving in a dangerous fashion causes a death, the
maximum penalty is 14 years in prison.
36. According to the Criminal Code, anyone who is involved in a
motor vehicle accident and does not stop, offer assistance,
and give his or her name and address is presumed to show
intent to escape civil or criminal liability.
This person may be charged with failure to stop at the scene
of an accident. Commonly known as ‘hit and run’, this is a
hybrid offence punishable by a term of up to 5 years.
The maximum punishment for a hit-and-run accident
causing bodily injury is 10 years. If the accident causes a
death, the offender can be sentenced to a maximum of life in
37. The proof that a driver is impaired, either by drugs
or alcohol, can come from a number of sources.
A person’s erratic driving, slurred speech, or inability
to walk a straight line, or the smell of alcohol on
his/her breath can serve as proof of the driver’s
a breath or blood test which measure amount of
alcohol in person’s bloodstream.
an offence to drive or to have ‘care or control’ of a
motor vehicle while the amount of alcohol in the
bloodstream exceeds 80 milligrams in 100
millilitres of blood.
38. If police have reasonable and probable grounds to
believe an impaired person is or has been
operating a motor vehicle within the last three
hours, they may demand person take a
If cannot take the test because of an existing medical
problem may be asked to give a blood sample instead.
blood sample may only be taken by qualified medical
practitioners who is satisfied that test will not
endanger the subject’s health.
39. Operating a motor vehicle while impaired and
refusing to provide a breath or blood sample are
both hybrid offences. The severity of the
punishment increases for subsequent offences.
Impaired driving causing bodily harm is an
indictable offence with maximum penalty of 10
years in prison.
If an impaired driver kills someone, the
maximum penalty is life in prison.
•Page 226 - R v. Mafi #1-2
Page 229 - R. v.Turner #1-3
Page 230 - R. v. Robert, R v. Foisy #1-3
Page 232 -R. v. Ewanchuk #1-3
Page 234 - R. v.Taylor #1-3
Page 235 - BuildingYour Understanding #1-7