What is a Summary Conviction Offence?
In Canada summary offences are usually referred to as summary conviction offences. Summary conviction offences are considered less serious than indictable offences because they are punishable by shorter prison sentences and smaller fines. These offences appear both in the federal laws of Canada and in the legislation of Canada’s provinces and territories. For summary conviction offences that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, section 787 of the Criminal Code of Canada specifies that, unless another punishment is provided for by law, the maximum penalty for a summary conviction offence is a sentence of 6 months of imprisonment, a fine of $5000 or both. Section 786 of the Code has a statute that prohibits persons from being tried for a summary conviction offence more than 6 months after the offence was committed unless both the prosecutor and defendant agree otherwise.
What is an Indictable Offence?
An Indictable Offence is a criminal offence that is more serious than a summary conviction. An Indictable Offence is subject to complex procedures, such as a preliminary hearing in the Supreme Court of Justice, and it can have higher fines and carry longer maximum penalties.
Bail Hearings are conducted for the purpose of the Court deciding whether or not you can be released into the community while dealing with your outstanding charges.
At a bail hearing, the court will decide whether or not you can be released into the community while you are facing outstanding criminal charges. For a person in custody, it is often a critical juncture that will affect their decision on how to proceed with their trial.
The courts will release an individual who is charged with a crime if the court is satisfied that they will come to court as directed, that there is not a risk to the community, and that the community would not be offended by the person’s release.
At this stage, the person charged will need the assistance of his or her friends and family to act as sureties. The number of sureties and amount of money to be put up can vary depending on the number of charges, the type of charges, whether the accused has a prior criminal record, and whether they have ever failed to appear for court in the past.
The Judicial Pre-trial is held prior to Trial in attempt to reach an agreement prior to Trial. If agreement is reached at the Judicial Pre-Trial, party will not proceed to Trial.
The Judicial Pre-trial is very similar to the Crown Pre-trial except that it is in the presence of a judge. The judge will often encourage parties to reach an agreement about non-contentious issues so that the length of trial can be shortened. The Judicial Pre-trial is often necessary for complex matters or trials expected to take a day or more. The accused is not present during these discussions
In criminal law, the Crown is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred and that the person charged is the same person who committed it. The Defence lawyer and Crown Attorney will call evidence through witnesses and documents.
The Crown and defence lawyers call evidence through witnesses and by entering exhibits. The judge or jury hears the evidence and then makes a finding based upon what they have heard and considered.
A person is either found innocent or guilty of the charges. Another possibility is that the charges are “stayed” (possibly because of a constitutional breach). The Crown may also withdraw the charges at any time if he or she feels that there is no reasonable prospect of conviction or at their own discretion if they think that it serves the interests of justice to do so.
We offer assistance in the following criminal categories:
- Impaired Driving
- The over 80 rule
- Refusing to provide breath sample
- Impaired Care or Control
- Aggravated Assault
- Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Assault with Weapon
- Assaulting a Peace Officer