What Is A Summary Conviction Offence?

By 23 October 2022November 2nd, 2023No Comments

Indictable and Summary conviction offences are the least serious. Understanding what is a summary conviction offence is crucial as it is less severe than indictable offences.  A judge hears summary conviction proceedings in provincial court. When the judge requests the accused person to appear in court, a lawyer or agency may represent that person.

The Parliament of Canada enacted the summary conviction offence (SCO) act to address cases involving severe offences that do not include an indictable offence. Crimes covered under the SCO are those for which a person can be sentenced to at least six months but less than two years imprisonment and does not require a trial. Instead, the court will determine whether to impose a fine or sentence with a combination of fines and penalties.

Examples Of Summary Conviction Offences

Examples of many criminal offences in Canada include less serious offences under the Criminal Code. These offences are considered less serious than indictable offences and summary and are typically dealt with more swiftly by the justice system. If a person is convicted of a summary offence, they will have a prior criminal record, although the consequences are generally less severe than for charged with an indictable offence. Hybrid offences include a range of offences such as theft under a certain value or assault. Dual procedure or hybrid offence are those offence where the crown can choose to proceed summarily or by indictment for a dual procedure. It is important for individuals facing criminal charges to consult with criminal lawyers who can inform them of their rights and guide them through the legal process.

What should I do if I am charged with a summary conviction offence?

If you have been charged under the Summary Convictions Act, you must seek legal advice immediately to protect your rights. If convicted, you could face time behind bars depending on the severity of the crime and if you have any previous convictions. You should also know that this law has certain expectations where a person can receive a criminal record even without being found guilty. For example, if you plead guilty to a charge under SCO, you would still need to get a criminal record check before applying for a job or renting a property.     

What is Record Suspension?

When a person has served their sentence after being found guilty of a crime, their criminal record can be deleted from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database through record suspension or pardon. It simply means that there won’t be any criminal records discovered when someone searches for that person’s criminal history in the CPIC database. 

Do I qualify for a record suspension?

Canada is known worldwide for its strict laws and strict penalties. Therefore, it is no surprise that many want to avoid a criminal record at all costs. Faced with a criminal charge, some people plead guilty to reduce their sentence, while others fight the charge in court. However, one way to avoid having a criminal record is through a Record Suspension process. This term refers to sealing your criminal records after meeting certain conditions, such as completing probation and paying your fines. Once you have completed your probationary period and paid off your debt, you can apply for a Pardon.

You must wait 3-5 years after completion of all sentencing if you were found guilty of a summary conviction offence before being eligible for a record suspension. The Parole Board of Canada will examine your application to determine whether you have been in good conduct since serving your sentence. Record suspensions will be granted to applicants who can demonstrate that they would profit from getting one and wouldn’t commit any other crimes. When deciding whether to issue a record suspension, the Board will consider the nature, circumstances, and severity of the committed offence.

Different Types of Offences

What Is Indictable Offence Canada

An indictable offense in Canada refers to a serious criminal offense that is more severe than a summary offense. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, offenses are categorized as either summary or indictable. The main difference between the two lies in the seriousness of the offense and the corresponding penalties. Summary offenses are less serious crimes that can be proceeded by summary conviction, whereas indictable offenses are more serious and can be proceeded either by summary or by indictment. A straight indictable offense is a crime that can only be proceeded by indictment, indicating its seriousness. On the other hand, a straight summary offense can only be proceeded by summary conviction, indicating its less serious nature.

What Is A Hybrid Offense Canada

A hybrid offense in Canada refers to a type of offense that can be treated as either an indictable offense or a summary conviction offense, depending on the circumstances of the case. These offenses can include a wide range of criminal activities, from drug possession to assault. When a hybrid offense is prosecuted as an indictable offense, it is typically dealt with in the superior court of justice and a criminal defense lawyer is required to represent the accused. On the other hand, if the offense is treated as a summary conviction offense, it is heard in a provincial court and the accused may choose to either represent themselves or hire a legal representative. The limitations period for a summary conviction offense is six months from the date the offense was committed. In contrast, there is no limitation period for an indictable offense. The penalties for hybrid offenses can vary greatly, with summary conviction offenses usually carrying a maximum penalty of six months in jail and/or a fine, while indictable offenses can result in more severe consequences. It is worth noting that a hybrid offense can also be classified as a straight indictable offense if it is deemed particularly serious.

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