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The 10 Most Common Criminal Charges in Canada

by Timar James, Pardon & Waiver Officer with Pardon Applications of Canada

With all the tragic headlines and news coverage we constantly see on television or social media outlets, many Canadians might believe that murder or sexual assault cases are the most criminal charges dealt with in criminal court.

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However, it may surprise you to know that the top ten criminal charges dealt with in adult criminal court across Canada were all non-violent cases.

Here are the top ten common offences for cases completed in adult criminal court across Canada based on a 2013/2014 study by Statistics Canada:

  1. Impaired Driving (DUI)
  2. Theft*
  3. Fail to Comply with Order
  4. Common Assault
  5. Breach of Probation
  6. Major Assault**
  7. Uttering Threats
  8. Drug Possession
  9. Mischief
  10. Fraud

* includes, for example, theft over and under $5000 as well as motor vehicle theft
** includes, for example, assault with a weapon and aggravated assault

A “case” is one or more charges against an accused person or company that were processed by the courts at the same time and received a final decision. Cases that involve more than one charge are represented by the most serious offence. Data exclude information from superior courts in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as municipal courts in Quebec due to the unavailability of data.

However, despite the more serious cases not being the most common in criminal court, the more violent charges have increased in Canada including attempted murder (+28%), homicide (+6%) and criminal harassment (+1%).

A criminal record can impact an individual’s life in ways they may not have imagined. Canadians and residents have the privilege of sealing their criminal history by obtaining a Canadian Pardon. Take the first step and determine if you qualify.

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Timar James is an A+ Accredited Pardon (Record Suspension) & U.S. Waiver Officer with Pardon Applications of Canada.  Established in 2011, the private firm with nationwide offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa & Toronto has responded to and processed more than 75,000 record suspension inquiries and applications.

Pardon Applications of Canada is A+ Accredited via the Better Business Bureau, uses RCMP Accredited fingerprints and has real reviews by actual applicants.  Communication and transparency are at the heart of the Pardon Applications of Canada service. 

Source(s): Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Integrated Criminal Court Survey.