Criminal charges are the most severe types of offences in Canada. They carry the strictest penalties and, if convicted, usually result in a lengthy jail sentence. Having a criminal record can significantly affect a person’s way of life. It could result in incarceration and prevent someone from getting a job, travelling abroad, and living a normal life with the same privileges that other Canadians have.
There are three main categories that all criminal offences fall within.
Summary conviction offences: These are the least serious and carry the lowest penalties. Disturbing the peace, indecent acts, and breaching a probation order all fall under the category of summary conviction offences. If you are charged with one of these crimes, your case will be held in front of only a judge. There will not be a jury present.
Indictable offences: Indictable offences are the most serious type of offence and carry the greatest penalties. Murder, aggravated assault, and theft over $5,000 all fall under this category. These cases require lawyer representation and will be held in front of both a judge and jury.
Hybrid offences: The severity of the penalty given and the type of trial held is up to the prosecutor in these cases. A hybrid crime considers all charges, which may fall between summary conviction offences and indictable offences. Assault is an excellent example of a hybrid offence.
Here are the top 10 most common criminal charges:
Type #1: Fraud charges
Fraud is the act of trying to deceive someone else in an attempt to gain something in return. Fraud differs from theft because it does not use any type of force or threat. Instead, fraud usually involves some type of scheme that uses pretenses to trick victims.
The most crucial element when being charged with fraud is the scheme itself. This means that the person being charged can be found guilty even if the plan they put into place doesn’t work.
Type #2: Assault charges
Assault, assault with a weapon, sexual assault, and aggravated assault are all common criminal charges. Assault occurs when someone intentionally applies force to another person or uses a weapon to accost or impede another.
Assault charges carry hefty penalties that will impact you for the rest of your life. Depending on the severity of the charge, you may end up with lengthy jail time or have your name put on the public registered sex offenders list. Due to the severity of the charges, you should consult a criminal lawyer Brampton for professional guidance.
Type #3: Mischief charges
Mischief is a crime that occurs after some form of vandalism. This type of criminal charge is the deliberate or reckless destruction of another person’s property.
If you have damaged or interfered with someone’s property, you could be charged with this crime. Mischief can result in severe criminal charges, including hefty fines, probation, a criminal record, and even jail time.
Type #4: Possession of drugs
Illegal drugs could result in a fine, jail time, and a permanent criminal record. The severity of your charge will depend on the type of drugs and the amount you have in your possession when you are arrested.
Type #5: Uttering threats
If you are heard making threatening remarks about causing someone serious harm or death or damaging their property, you could end up with a criminal charge. This type of charge would be considered a summary conviction and could result in jail time.
Type #6: Breach of probation
A judge will often order a probation period instead of jail time. During this period, the offender will have to regularly check in with a probation officer and comply with all their probation orders. If any of these orders are breached, criminal charges can be laid.
Type #7: Fail to comply with an order
If you have a pending court order or are ordered by a police officer, you must comply with these orders. If you fail to do so, you may be given a fine or may have to serve time in jail, depending on the severity of the crime.
Type #8: Theft charges
In Canada, stealing money or property valued over $5,000 is considered a criminal offence. Depending on the unique situation, the offender can be ordered to serve anywhere from a few months to years in prison.
Type #9: Impaired driving charges
Driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol is against the law in Canada. This extremely dangerous offence can lead to accidents, property damage, and even loss of life. Whether you are operating a car, boat, aircraft, or train, an impaired driving charge will almost certainly lead to a hefty sentence, even if the vehicle isn’t in motion.
Type #10: Murder charges
Murder is considered the killing of another person. Murder, manslaughter, and criminal negligence causing death are all criminal charges under the Canadian criminal code and will result in a trial before a judge and jury. If convicted, these types of criminal charges will lead to incarceration.