Criminal Summary Offences - Criminal Paralegals or Criminal Defence Lawyer in Toronto, GTA, Vaughan, North York, Richmond Hill, Scarborough
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Summary Offences are considered less serious than Indictable Offences, and is a criminal offence that can be proceeded with summarily (in a quick and simple manner). Someone who is charged with a Criminal Summary Offence as opposed to an Indictable Offence, can face a maximum jail term of 6 months, does not have the right to a jury in trial, does not have to submit fingerprints, and is very rarely heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The police can also arrest under Summary Conviction without a warrant. Usually, a person charged with a summary conviction offence is not arrested, but given a notice to appear in court on a certain date at a certain time. The person must be charged within six months of the offence if not, the person cannot be charged with a summary conviction offence. Criminal Summary Offences can be changed to Indictable Offences by Crown prosecutor.
Some examples of Criminal Summary Offences can be:
- Theft valued under $5,000;
- Fraud under $5,000;
- Uttering Threats;
- Public exposure/nudity;
- Trespassing at night;
There are some offences that are “Hybrid” Offences, which means that the Crown prosecutor will decide whether to treat your case as a Summary Offence (less serious) or an Indictable offence (more serious). Examples of a Hybrid Offence include, but are not limited to
- Impaired Driving;
- Dangerous Driving;
- Possession of a Narcotic.
For the summary conviction procedure, the maximum penalty for drug possession is a fine of $1,000 and six months in prison if it is your first offence (7 years if Indictable). The penalty of Possession of Narcotic, Impaired Driving, Dangerous Driving, Assault, etc. can be a fine and suspension as a Summary Offence, but can greatly increase (prison, fine, lifetime suspension, criminal record) if the offence is repeated or is deemed an Indictable Criminal Offence.