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Sentencing Principles

Exploring the Canadian Criminal Justice System

Sentencing Principles: Determining Punishment

If you have been charged with a crime in Canada, you should consult with a criminal defence lawyer in your area

Sentencing Principles - Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Legal Terms

Crown prosecutor

Lawyers who act for the federal, provincial and territorial governments and prosecute people accused of crimes on behalf of the Crown.

Dangerous offender

A person may be found to be a dangerous offender if they are convicted of a serious personal injury offence and the court considered them a threat to the life, safety or physical or mental well-being of others. They can also be designated as such if they show they cannot restrain their behaviour or are indifferent to the foreseeable consequences other people will suffer due to their actions. If the court finds an offender to be a dangerous offender, it will impose a sentence of detention in a penitentiary for an indeterminate period.

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.

Summary conviction

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.

Sentencing Principles - Referenced Links