Glossary of Legal Terms
Colour of right
A defence to certain charges, it is the honest belief that an act is justifiable. In cases of theft, it refers to an honest belief or mistake regarding the ownership of property.
Lawyers who act for the federal, provincial and territorial governments and prosecute people accused of crimes on behalf of the Crown.
Hybrid offences fall between a summary and an indictable offence. The Crown prosecutor chooses whether to treat the offence as a summary or indictable offence.
Indictable offences are the most serious offences under the Criminal Code and they come with more serious punishments, up to a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Power of attorney
A legal document giving one person, or more than one person, the authority to manage your money and property on your behalf. In most of Canada the person you appoint is called an “attorney.” That person does not need to be a lawyer.
Summary convictions are used for lesser offences with penalties, fines and short jail time. They reflect the majority of offences as defined in the Code.