Glossary of Legal Terms
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.
The Criminal Code defines organized crime as a group of three or more people whose purpose is the commission of one or more serious offences that would “likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group.” That is often through crimes such as gambling, prostitution or drug trafficking.
The Supreme Court of Canada has said that reasonable doubt “falls much closer to absolute certainty than to proof on a balance of probabilities” and “that something less than absolute certainty is required, and that something more than probable guilt is required."
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.
A non-violent crime where the primary motive is typically financial in nature, usually carried out by those in business or management positions