Types of Criminal Charges
When an individual is arrested, they receive a set of criminal charges. Charges mean that the individual has been accused of committing an offence contrary to the Criminal Code, and that they could be facing sanctions such as probation, a fine, or jail time. There are three main types of criminal charges (offences): summary, indictable, and hybrid.
What do Summary, Indictable and Hybrid mean?
Summary offences are offences that carry a maximum of 6 months in prison, or a fine of up to $5000, or both. Generally these offences are less serious than indictable offences. The charging document for summary offences is called an information. Indictable offences can carry punishments that include fines over $5000 or more than 6 months in prison, or both. The charging document for an indictable offence is called an indictment, and when an individual is facing charges related to an indictable offence, they can elect whether to have a trial with or without a jury. Hybrid offences are offences that can either be summary or indictable, depending on what the Crown elects. Most offences in the Criminal Code are hybrid offences, and the offence will be deemed indictable until the Crown makes the election.
The Smordin Law Approach
In Ontario there are two courts that hear criminal matters: the Ontario Provincial Offencese, and the Superior Court of Justice. The Ontario Provincial Offences hears both summary and indictable offences, but the Superior Court of Justice only hears indictable offences.
The lawyers at Smordin Law have years of experience dealing with all types of criminal offences. If you or someone you know are facing criminal charges for any type of offence, contact Smordin Law to discuss your options.
Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C-46, ss. 469, 787.
Interpretation Act, RCS 1985 c I-21, s. 34(1)(a).
Smordin Law Criminal Lawyers
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