Ch.6 - Introduction to
What is a crime?
► An action, or omission
of an action, that is
prohibited by the
► Behaviourthat is
harmful to society.
► Whatever society
decides is a crime.
4 Conditions of a Criminal Act
1. The action must be considered wrong by
2. It must cause harm to society generally or
to those in need of protection.
3. The harm must be serious in both nature
4. The action must be best dealt with in the
criminal justice system (rather than civil)
to deter others from doing the same.
R v. Coyne (p.109)
2 Elements of an Offence:
► The Actus Reus: The prohibited act, as
defined in the criminal code.
► The Mens Rea: The required intent
(intention) to commit the act.
► The lawyer for the accused (the person CHARGED
with an offence) is the DEFENCE lawyer.
► The lawyer for the state (society) is the CROWN
► An individual is presumed innocent until
offences must be proven beyond any
Charter Right 11b
“Trial within a reasonable time”
► See R v. Askov (p.112)
Classification of Offences
Summary Conviction Offence:
less serious offences
Causing a disturbance in a public place
Being in an illegal gaming house
Driving a someone’s car without permission
► (Generally) Trial cannot proceed if more
than 6 months have passed between the
time of the act and the start of trial
► Max penalty: 6 months and/or $2000.
more serious offences
Making/using counterfeit money
► No limit on time between act and laying of
► Once charged, trial should be within reasonable
time (6 months)
► Police have broader search powers when
investigating indictable offence.
► If facing 5+ years, may have Jury.
► May be treated by the Crown as summary
conviction or indictable.
► Indictable until stated otherwise.
Theft under $1000
Calling false fire alarm
Conspiring/attempting to commit an offence.
See R v. Quinn (p.127)
Offences against the person (people)
► (Approximately 10% of all crimes reported.
Murder (1st degree, 2nd degree)
See Droste v. The Queen (p.131)
See R v. Latimer (p.132)
► Counselling or aiding suicide
► Sexual Assault
Offences Against Property
Colour of right (see r v. Hemmerly)
► Break and Enter
Something does not have to be broken
If you illegally enter someone’s home, you can be charged
with: unlawfully being in a dwelling house
► Mischief (damage)
► Fraud (intentionally deceiving public or person causing a
Offences Against Morality
Keeping an illegal gaming house (max. 2 yrs)
Cheating at play
Being in a gaming house without lawful purpose (summary
Requiring payment for a sex act is not illegal but everything
surrounding it is! (UPDATE: Currently this law has been struck
down and is in the appeals process.)
Procuring: assisting in the process
Publications exploiting sex (violence)
Other Terms relevant to Criminal Law
► Party to an offence
Indirect involvement in offence
Seriousness depends on seriousness of offence
Aiding: giving assistance
Conspiracy: clear plan, no execution.
Abet: encourage or help
Accessory after the fact: Provide comfort/assist after the
See R v. Martineau (p.146)
All of these are difficult to clarify when applying to real life