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Criminal Offences. Reasons for Crime. Several factors have been found to be related to the cause of criminal behaviour. Can you name some? Research has shown that the factors listed below have impact on criminal behaviour. Poverty Recidivism (repeat offenders) Emotional Stress

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reasons for crime
Reasons for Crime

Several factors have been found to be related to the cause of criminal behaviour. Can you name some?

Research has shown that the factors listed below have impact on criminal behaviour.

  • Poverty
  • Recidivism (repeat offenders)
  • Emotional Stress
  • Mental disturbance
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Violence in the home
  • Lack of education

Rank the above factors in terms of their significance in contributing to criminal behaviour.

research suggests
Research suggests…
  • Poverty
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Violence in the home
  • Mental disturbance
  • Emotional stress
  • Lack of education
  • Recidivism
levels of offences
Levels of Offences

Summary Offences:

  • Minor offence
  • Carries a relatively light sentence (Fined up to $2000.00 or up to 6 months in jail)
  • Usually proceeds through court system fairly quickly
  • Tried in Provincial Court
  • Accused does not have to appear in court but can be represented by a lawyer
levels of offences1
Levels of Offences

Indictable Offence:

  • Serious crime; carries a heavier penalty than summary offence
  • Criminal Code establishes minimum and maximum penalties for indictable offences depending on the crime
  • Most indictable offences are tried in the Superior Court of the Province, BUT if the maximum penalty is less than 5 years in prison, then it will be heard in Provincial Court by a Judge only.
levels of offences2
Levels of Offences

Hybrid Offences

  • Is an offence that the Crown can decide to try either as a summary conviction or an indictable offence
  • Always treated as indictable until charges are laid in court
  • Crown’s decision often depends upon the circumstances of the case (such as: Repeat offender? Violence involved? Is the accused remorseful?)
hybrid offence example
Hybrid Offence: Example

Connie has been charged with theft of CDs worth $100. She has never been arrested before and has a steady job. In this case, the Crown may decide to proceed on a summary basis and receive a light penalty such as a fine. What might this be suitable?

  • If Connie had a long record of arrests for theft and if she had stolen thousands of dollars worth of CDs, then the offence would have likely been categorized as indictable and Connie might have been making her way to the big house!
case r v quinlan page 224
Case: R. v. Quinlan(Page 224)

Section 334 of the C.C.C. states:

…everyone who commits theft

  • Is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, where… the value of what is stolen exceeds five thousand dollars or;
  • Is guilty

(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or

(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction, where the value of what is stolen does not exceed five thousand dollars.

  • Did Quinlan commit a summary, indictable or hybrid offence? Explain.
  • If the payment had been less than $5000, what type of offence would Quinlan have committed?
summary indictable or hybrid
Summary, Indictable or Hybrid?
  • Sheet: Guess is each case is a summary offence, an indictable offence or a hybrid offence
fast fact
Fast Fact

In Canada about 1 in 10 people have a criminal record

offences against the person
Offences Against the Person
  • Includes violent crimes in which the victim is threatened, injured or killed

The C.C.C. defines homicide as:

222. (1) A person commits homicide when directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being.


Two types of homicide:

  • Culpable: is a killing for which the accused can be held legally responsible or shows such recklessness that his/her actions are likely to cause death

b) Non-culpable: a killing for which the accused cannot be held legally responsible, such as a death caused by an unforeseeable accident.

culpable or non culpable
Culpable or Non-culpable?

What about…

  • Executions?
  • Solider acting in times of war?
  • An individual defending oneself or another person?
  • The intentional killing of another human being
  • Form of culpable homicide
  • Two types: First-Degree


first degree murder
First-Degree Murder
  • It is planned and deliberate
  • One person hires another to commit murder
  • If the victim is a police officer, prison employee or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace
  • If the murder is caused while committing or attempting to commit another serious offence , such as hi-jacking, sexual assault, kidnapping, forcible confinement, hostage taking, etc. In these situations murder does not have to be planned and deliberate in order to qualify as first degree.

Punishment: Life in prison; no chance of parole for 25 years

second degree murder
Second-Degree Murder
  • Murder that does not fit into any of the first-degree murder categories, but is still caused intentionally.

Sentence:Life in prison; no chance of parole for at least 10 years


Infanticide occurs when a mother kills her new born child. This is very rare in Canada

All 3 of the following circumstances must be present for the crime to be considered infanticide:

a) the accused must be the natural mother of the victim

b) the victim must be less than 12 months old

c) at the time of the killing, the accused must have been suffering from a mental disturbance caused by not being able to recover from giving birth to the victim


Nelson and Angelo started fighting in the Flaming Onion Tavern. Nelson knocked Angelo backward with a blow to the jaw, and Angelo hit his head on a corner of a pool table. He died later that night from internal bleeding by a severe concussion. Nelson had wanted to hurt Angelo, but he did not mean to kill him. Nevertheless, Angelo died as a direct result of Nelson’s wrongful act. The police arrested him. Can they charge him with murder? Explain.


Section 234 of the C.C.C. defines manslaughter as:

Any homicide that cannot be classified as murder

or infanticide

  • Killing someone through a wrongful act, even if the killing was not intentional.

Example: Maria is speeding and loses control of her car and kills a pedestrian. Although she did not mean to kill the pedestrian, she should have recognized that speeding could physically harm or kill someone.

  • A charge of murder can be reduced to manslaughter IF the accused can show provocation on the part of the victim.

Did the victim do something so insulting or outrageous that it caused the accused to lose self-control?

provocation example
  • Derrick and Li are arguing in Li’s kitchen. As the argument grows more heated, Derrick gets frustrated and spit’s in Li’s face. Li is so enraged that he grab’s a knife from the counter and plunges it into Derrick’s chest, killing him instantly. Since Li acted “in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation”, it is likely he will be allowed to plead to manslaughter rather than murder.
  • Note that in the case of manslaughter there is no cooling off period; if Li goes home after Derrick spits on him and broods on the matter before killing Derrick two days later, then something “planned and deliberate” has occurred and Li will be charged with murder.
r v mafi 2000 page 226
R. v. Mafi (2000) Page 226
  • Why was Mafi charged with second-degree murder rather than first-degree?
  • Why do you think that Mafi’s parole eligibility was set at 20 years instead of the usual period of 10 years?
r v turner 1995 page 229
R. v. Turner (1995) Page 229
  • Explain why John Ryan’s mother was charged with manslaughter rather than infanticide.
  • Do you think the Turners should have been charged with murder rather than manslaughter? Explain.
Assault is the most common form of violent crime. In 1999, 75% of all cases of violent crimes in Canada were assault related.
  • Threatened or actual physical contact without consent. Words themselves cannot be considered an assault; they must be accompanied by an act or gesture.
level 1 assault
Level 1 Assault

Level 1 assault is a hybrid offence- maximum penalty 5 years in prison

Any one of the following actions:

  • Intentionally applying force to another person, (directly or indirectly)
  • Attempting or threatening to apply force by an act or gesture
  • Approaching or blocking the way of another person while openly carrying a wearing or carrying a weapon or imitation of a weapon
you be the judge
You be the Judge!

An Angus Reid survey recently noted that 16% of Canadians thought it should be a criminal offence for a parent to spank a child. Men and women equally opposed making spanking a criminal offence.

Should it be a criminal offence for a parent to spank a child?

level 2 assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm
Level 2: Assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm
  • Hybrid offence- maximum penalty 10 years in prison
  • Committing an assault while carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon or an imitation of a weapon, or causing bodily harm
level 3 aggravated assault
Level 3: Aggravated Assault
  • Most violent
  • Indictable Offence and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison
  • Defined as severely wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of the victim.
video presentation
Video Presentation
  • The Code: Assaults on the Ice?
r v robert r v foisy 2000 page 230
R. v. Robert, R. v. Foisy (2000)Page 230

1)Do you agree with the Judge’s decision and sentence in this case?

you be the judge1
You be the Judge!

In Texas, some sex offenders have been ordered to post signs declaring their whereabouts, such as “Danger: Registered Sex Offender Lives Here.”

Texas law also requires the publication of sex offenders’ pictures and addresses. In Canada, police sometimes warn the public that a sexual offender has moved into an area.

sexual assault
Sexual Assault
  • Touching of a sexual nature that is not invited or consensual
level 1 sexual assault
Level 1-Sexual Assault
  • The most common (97% of all cases)
  • Victim suffers the least physical injury
  • Usually involves touching that is not invited or consensual
  • Hybrid Offence- maximum penalty is 10 years
level 2 sexual assault with a weapon threats to a 3 rd part or causing bodily harm
Level 2: Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a 3rd part or causing bodily harm
  • Carries, uses or threatens to use a weapon or an imitation of a weapon
  • Threatens to cause bodily harm to the complainant or another person
  • Causes bodily harm to the complainant
  • Indictable Offence: Maximum 14 years in prison
level 3 aggravated sexual assault
Level 3: Aggravated Sexual Assault
  • Most violent level of sexual assault
  • Indictable Offence- maximum sentence: life in prison
  • Defined as wounding, maiming, disfiguring or endangering the life of the victim.

Consent is a valid defence to a charge of sexual assault if the accused person had an honest and reasonable belief that the victim was consenting to sexual contact.

However, consent cannot be used as a defence in 3 instances:

  • If a victim said “no”- either by words or conduct (repulsing physical advances or struggling to escape an embrace)
  • If the accused is intoxicated at the time
  • If the accused person was reckless or deliberately blind to the victim’s responses or failed to take reasonable steps to find out if the victim was consenting
According to the Criminal Code, what is the BAC limit (blood alcohol concentration) above which it is forbidden to drive a vehicle?A. 0.08%B. 0.8%C. 0.008%D. 0.88%
Lending your driver's licence to someone else is:A. permitted in cases of emergencyB. permitted if that person can drive safelyC. inadvisable and illegalD. possible only if that person already has a driver's licence, but forgot it at home
When a school bus stops with its red signal lights flashing, the law requires drivers to:A. stop until the bus proceeds or the signal lights are deactivatedB. to do as they please as long as they tap the hornC. wait for approaching vehicles to passD. slow down and then be extra careful while passing
On a one-way road, if a lane is closed, who should be given the right-of-way?A. the first driver to signal his or her intentionsB. the driver on the closed laneC. the driver on the open laneD. the first driver to reach the open space next to the obstacle
When towing a trailer on a public road, what is illegal to transport in the trailer?A. passengersB. explosivesC. firearmsD. flammable materials
This hazard marker indicates?A. end of the roadB. pass on either side of the obstacleC. pass to the right of the obstacleD. pass to the left of the obstacle
This sign indicates:A. level crossing on tributary road near intersection aheadB. angle of track at level crossing aheadC. angle of tributary road, intersection aheadD. level crossing ahead
What is the meaning of this sign?A. truck crossing aheadB. slow moving lane for trucks climbing a steep hillC. minor road repairs aheadD. construction for 1 km
motor vehicle offences
Motor Vehicle Offences

Most vehicle offences are things like speeding or failing to stop at a red light. As a result, most are not addressed in the Criminal Code. You simply get a fine and the matter is dealt with. (Quasi Criminal)

However, some offences are considered serious which are contained in the Criminal Code.

dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle

To convict an accused of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, the Crown must prove:

  • that the safety of others were endangered because the driver failed to exercise the same care a prudent driver would have exercised under the same conditions.


  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is a hybrid offence and punishable up to 5 years in prison
  • Dangerous operation causing bodily harm is an indictable offence and is punishable for up to 10 years
  • Dangerous driving causing death is an indictable offence and punishable up to 14 years in prison.
failure to stop at the scene of an accident
Failure to Stop at the Scene of an Accident
  • Anyone who is involved in a motor vehicle accident and does not stop, offer assistance and give his/her name and address is presumed to show intent to escape criminal or civil liability. This person may be charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident.
  • Commonly known as “hit and run”
  • Hybrid offence; punishable up to 5 years.

causing bodily injury = maximum 10 years

causing death = maximum life.

impaired driving
Impaired Driving

Proof that a person is impaired can come from a number of sources:

  • Erratic driving
  • Slurred speech
  • Inability to walk a straight line
  • Smell of alcohol on his/her breath
  • Breath or blood test (cannot exceed 80 mg in 100 of blood)
impaired driving1
Impaired Driving

If police have reasonable and probable grounds to believe that someone is impaired and operating a motor vehicle within the last 3 hours, they can demand a breath and/or blood test.

Driving while impaired and refusing to provide a breath/blood sample are hybrid offences. The severity of the punishment increases for subsequent offences.

Impaired driving causing bodily harm carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and causing death carries a maximum of life in prison.

r v taylor 2000 page 234
R. v. Taylor (2000) Page 234
  • How far over the legal limit was the defendant’s alcohol?
  • What is the maximum penalty if an impaired driver kills someone?
  • What factors may have prompted the judge to double the prison sentence recommended by counsel? Explain.
items of interest
Items of Interest
  • To Serve or Protect?
  • Blood Alcohol Levels and the Law
offences against property
Offences Against Property

Colour of Right:

The honest belief that a person owns something or has permission to use an item


The taking of property, permanently or temporarily, without the owner’s permission.

v room v room
V-room! V-room!

Suppose Sally borrows a car from her friend Mohammed. She tells Mohammed she is going to the mall and will return the car in three hours. At the mall, Sally meets another friend, Naya, who lives out of town. Sall y gives Naya a ride home in Mohammed’s car and then stays with her for a couple of days. On the third day, she tries to return Mohammed’s car but is stopped by a police officer who charges her with theft. Sally had permission to use Mohammed’s car- has she committed an act of theft?

But… what if Mohammed had told Sally to keep the car as long as she liked. Could she then claim “colour of right”?
theft and sentencing
Theft and Sentencing

Sentencing for theft depends on the value of the goods stolen.

Theft Over: the indictable offences of stealing goods worth over $5000

Theft Under: the hybrid offence of stealing goods worth under $5000

* Identity Theft Video

  • Theft involving violence or the threat of violence

According to Stats Canada, in 1997 approximately 52% of robberies involved the use of a weapon.

While hunting deer with several companions in northern Ontario, it begins to snow. Mario becomes separated from the others and loses all sense of direction as the wind picks up and creates a whiteout. He stumbles upon a vacant cottage, kicks open the door, and takes shelter until the storm blows over.

Is Mario guilty of breaking and entering?

break and enter b e
Break and Enter (B&E)
  • Involves not only breaking and

entering into a place but also

having the intent to commit an

indictable offence once inside.

  • A “place” is usually a home, a commercial building or some other structure; the intention is usually to commit robbery or theft.
b e sentencing
B&E Sentencing

The C.C.C. treats all B&E’s as serious crimes and the penalties can be heavy.

  • Breaking into a commercial building can result up to 10 years in prison
  • Breaking into a dwelling house, the maximum sentence increases to life in prison
Pierre and Matthew were drinking at a local restaurant. On their way home, they rolled a tree trunk onto the railroad tracks. The next morning, the train engineer spotted the tree and was able to stop the train before it hit the obstruction. Even though no one was killed or injured, Pierre and Matthew could be charged with ____________.
  • Mischief is committed by willfully destroying property or data, rendering property or data useless, interfering with the lawful use of property or data, or interfering with any person in the lawful use of property or data.
  • One common form of mischief is vandalism
  • Mischief involving data and property are hybrid offences
  • Anyone found guilty of mischief that endangers another person’s life can be sentenced to life in prison. It is NOT necessary for the harm to materialize as long as the act has been committed.

So…in the case of Pierre and Matthew; did they endanger a person’s life by placing the tree trunk on the tracks?

public mischief
Public Mischief
  • Completely different crime from mischief!!
  • Hybrid offence
  • Occurs when someone provides false information that either misleads the police in their investigation or tricks them into thinking that a crime has been committed when no crime has actually taken place.
  • Falsifying employment records
  • Pretending to be someone else
  • Manipulating the stock market
  • Forging trademarks and signatures

These are all examples of ____________.

Fraud: intentionally deceiving someone in order to cause a loss of property, money or service. In order to convict a person of fraud, the Crown must prove that the accused purposely intended to deceive.

  • The penalties for fraud are determined by the value of the fraudulent transaction.

Example#1: If fraud is valued at less than $5000:

the Crown can charge the accused with either a summary offence punishable by a fine or an indictable offence with a maximum punishment of two years in prison.

Example #2: If fraud is valued at more than $5000:

it is an indictable offence with a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.


The act of prostitution itself is not a criminal offence; what is criminal is the act of soliciting (communicating for the purpose of prostitution).

Prostitution: usually refers to the act of engaging in sexual services for money.


Section 213 (1) makes it clear that either the prostitute or client can be charged with soliciting if, in a place open to public view, he or she:

  • Stops or attempts to stop any motor vehicle
  • Impedes the free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic- includes blocking entrances/exits
  • Stops or attempts to stop any person, or in any manner communicates or attempts to communicate with any person, for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or of obtaining the sexual services of a prostitute.
prostitution summary offences
Prostitution: Summary Offences
  • Soliciting: communication in a public place
  • Keeping a bawdy house

Bawdy House: is a place kept, occupied, or used by a person for the purpose of prostitution or the practice of indecent acts.

In the above situations, fingerprints or photographs are not taken, and the offender will not acquire a criminal record. Consequences are usually a fine and/or rehabilitation program.

prostitution indictable offences
Prostitution: Indictable Offences
  • Procuring (directing customers to the services of a prostitute)
  • Living off the earnings of a prostitute- even on a part-time basis.

Both carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison; 14 years if the prostitute is under 18.

This is most commonly enforced against “pimps” living off the income of street prostitutes.


George offered a plainclothes police officer money for sex in a local tavern.

Could George charged with soliciting?

Yes, because the transaction took place in a public place.

Prostitutes in Iraq
  • Global Information on Prostitution

Gambling itself is not a criminal offence; but offences can be committed in relation to gambling.

  • DISORDERLY HOUSE: A common bawdy, betting or gaming house, where people bet among themselves (on a horse race or football game) and where the keeper of the house keeps a portion of the winning bet. Anyone found keeping/permitting a disorderly house is guilty of an indictable offence and can be sentenced up to 2 years in prison.

There are exceptions to this. For example, people getting together to play cards for money is fine as long as it is not for the reason for the host to make profit. Horserace betting is allowed if the track has gained government approval and the operators pay the government a % of the money that customers bet.

drug offences
Drug Offences
  • The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is the federal statute that deals with narcotics and other controlled drugs such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana.
  • The Act was passed on May 14, 1997
  • The Act outlines illegal drugs and consequences for possession and trafficking
  • A controlled substance is any drug outlined in the act or basically, any drug you cannot purchase legally- for instance, at a store.

Possession: The state of having knowledge of and control over something

  • It is unlawful to be in unauthorized possession of any of the drugs listed in Schedules I to III. (Some of these drugs may be prescribed for medical purposes.)
Jake held a grudge against Charles. He gave Charles a package of white powder and told him it was foot powder, when it was actually low-grade heroin. After Charles left, Jake called Crime Stoppers with a “tip” that Charles was carrying drugs.

Can Charles be charged with possession?

Charles was arrested, but the judge dismissed the charges when Charles was able to prove that he never knew the powder was a controlled substance.
to be guilty of possession
To be guilty of possession…

1) The person in possession must know what the item is and have some measure of control over it.

Jenny placed an ounce of marijuana in Celeste’s gym bag. School authorities searched the bag, found the drug, and called the police.

Who can be charged?

Jenny was charged with possession of a controlled substance, even though the marijuana was found in the other girl’s bag.
2) A person may be found guilty of possession even if he or she gave the item in question to another person.
Dawna and Carla were going to a party when Dawna stopped to pick up several capsules of ecstasy. She told Carla what she was doing and Carla offered no objection she just waited for her friend.

If the police stopped these two on their way to the party and found the capsules, could either be charged with possession?

Even though the drugs did not belong to Carla and she was not taking them herself, she still could have been charged with possession on the basis of consent.

Keep in mind that “consent” can be broadly interpreted. It could mean that Carla gave “express consent” by saying out loud that Dawna’s possession of the drugs was all right with her. It could also mean that she gave “implied consent” because although she knew about the drugs, she did nothing to remove herself from the situation.

3) A person can be actual possession, as long as the person knows about it and consents to its possession by someone else.
possession checking your understanding
Possession: Checking Your Understanding!

You and three (3) of your friends are hanging out at David’s house. David grabs a joint and lights it up, passing it around the group. Everyone takes a puff. Just at that time, the police show up with a warrant to search the property and they spot the joint being smoked. Is David the only person to get charged and convicted?

David’s Mom comes out of the kitchen and tells the police to leave her child alone- he’s not hurting anyone. The police then charge her. What with and why?

prescription shopping or double doctoring
Prescription Shopping or Double Doctoring
  • Some people require controlled drugs for pain relief. Other people become addicted to certain substances. This addiction may cause people to PRESCRIPTION SHOP or DOUBLE DOCTOR.
  • These people try to obtain the same prescription from a number of doctors
  • It is an offence to seek or to obtain a narcotic/prescription from a doctor without disclosing all other controlled drugs or prescriptions for controlled drugs received within the previous 30 days.

Summary Offence:

1st Offence: (maximum) $1000 or 6 months in prison

2nd Offence: (maximum) $2000 or 1 year in prison

Indictable Offence:

The penalties range from 18 months to 7 years depending on the substance.

“The offence of trafficking is taken extremely seriously by both the courts and the public…It goes without saying that someone branded as a ‘trafficker’ is held in extremely low regard by the public.”
  • Supreme Court Justice

Claire L’Heureux-Dube


Trafficking: to sell, give, administer, transport, send, deliver or distribute a controlled substance; to sell an authorization for a controlled substance.

* Merely giving drugs to another person constitutes trafficking- no profit or motive for profit is necessary.

r v miller 2000 please record on your chart
R. v. Miller (2000)(Please record on your chart!)
  • Under the controlled Drugs and Substances Act, what was the maximum sentence Miller could have received?
  • Explain why the Court concluded that Miller meant to traffic in cocaine.
  • If Miller had been previously convicted for trafficking, what effect do you think this prior conviction would have had on his sentence?
Possession for the purpose of trafficking: The Crown must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused possessed the controlled substance with the intention of trafficking.

Intention can be established in a number of ways:

  • The quantity of drugs which the accused had was much greater than what is required for personal use
  • Scales, bags, list of names present
  • Somewhat large amount of cash is present

See Chart Page 243

does it really mater
Does it really mater…?

Does it really matter if people use illegal drugs or not?

Does it really matter if they are only using while NOT at work and only on their free time?

Consider the following occupations:

  • Teacher
  • Airline pilot
  • Police officer
  • Pharmacist
  • Bank teller
  • Receptionist
  • School-bus driver

Should drug testing be a condition of employment for the above occupations? Which ones? Why or why not?

video selection
Video Selection
  • 5th Estate: Staying Alive March 13, 2009
group work looking at some statistics
Group Work: Looking at some Statistics
  • Drug use in Canada (percentage of population)
  • Drug Incidents, Canada
  • Support for Legalization of Marijuana in Canada
money laundering
Money Laundering

Money Laundering:

  • The practice of transferring cash or other property to conceal its illegal origin. Any transfer, or possession of, sending or delivering, transporting, transmitting, altering, disposing of, or otherwise dealing with any proceeds of crime can be a criminal offence.
  • Classified as a Hybrid offence
  • Police are allowed to seize anything they believe, on reasonable grounds, has been obtained by committing a criminal offence.
  • It is also legal for the police themselves to set up a money laundering operation as part of a criminal investigation.
money laundering1
Money Laundering


  • If tried as an indictable offence, a maximum prison of 10 years can be imposed.
  • If tried as a summary offence, the maximum can be a $2000 fine and/or 6 months in prison