Summary, Indictable and Hybrid Offences and Why You Need a Reliable Lawyer on Your Side | Defending an Assault Charge in Toronto

The Criminal Code of Canada separates offences into three categories: indictable offence, summary conviction or a hybrid offence. If you have been charged with any of the three offences mentioned, it is imperative that you seek the legal guidance of our professional law firm. At Erickson Law, we can help you in defending a charge in Toronto with timely expertise.

If you have been accused of a summary, indictable or hybrid offence in Ontario, you need our firm on your side that can defend your case and improve your sensitive circumstances. 

What’s an Indictable Offence in Canada?

Indictable offences are more severe offences that require a jury trial, a judge in Superior Court with or without a preliminary hearing, or a judge alone in Provincial Court without a preliminary hearing. There is no limitation period involved, and the accused can be charged or convicted at any time. 

Indictable offences include:

  • Act of terrorism
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Drug trafficking
  • Kidnapping, abduction, hostage situations, forcible confinement 
  • Motor vehicle offences resulting in the death of another
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Treason

As an aggravated assault lawyer in Toronto, I can help you handle the complexities of your indictable offence in a discreet and urgent manner. We can help you defend your allegations and grant you the peace of mind that you deserve.

What is the Difference Between Summary Offence and an Indictable Offence?

Summary Offence: These offences are the least serious of the three types of charges; examples include possession of marijuana under 30 grams and solicitation of prostitution. If the Crown proceeds with the summary conviction, a six-month limitation period applies, and they do not have to give their fingerprints upon the time of the arrest. 

The maximum penalty an accused can receive if charged with a summary offence is six months in jail or a fine up to $5000 CAD. Summary conviction offences are appealed in the Superior Court of the proper jurisdiction, and not directly to the Court of Appeal.

An indictable offence, as mentioned above, is a much more complicated circumstance. Both, a summary and indictable conviction, can lead to a criminal record that remains active until the convicted is pardoned. For a summary offence, the waiting period to be pardoned by the Parole Board of Canada is on average five years. For an indictable offence, the waiting period for a pardon is ten years.

What is a Hybrid Offence?

Hybrid offences, as the name implies, is an offence that is considered in the middle of a summary and indictable offence. In hybrid offence cases, the prosecutor or the Crown chooses whether to treat the accused’s crime based on the severity in a summary or indictable manner. For example, if a less serious crime was committed, the accused will be granted a summary offence, while if the crime was more complicated and severe, they will be charged with an indictable offence.

In assessing whether or not to proceed with a summary or indictable offence, the Crown would consider the seriousness of the allegations, if the accused has an existing criminal record, whether the offence is sworn outside the limitation period of a summary conviction, the complexity of the case and other legal considerations.

Hybrid offences include: 

  • Sexual assault
  • Simple assault
  • Sexual interference
  • Dangerous operation of a moving vehicle, vessel or aircraft

What are the 3 Levels of Assault in Ontario?

There are three levels of aggravated assault under the Criminal Code of Canada;

Common Assault in Canada Level 1 – Under section 265, a common assault includes pushing, slapping, punching and face-to-face verbal threats.

Major Assault Level 2 – Under section 267, a more serious form of Common Assault Level 1 including carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon against someone, or causing bodily harm.

Major Assault Level 3 – Under section 268 of the Canadian Criminal Code, is an aggravated assault with wounds, maims, disfiguration or endangerment of the life of another person. Additionally, under Canadian Law, female genital mutilation is also considered a form of aggravated assault.

Major assault levels 2 and 3 are constituted under aggravated assault and, if convicted, would be classified under an indictable offence.

Accused of a Summary, Indictable or Hybrid Offence? It’s Time to Contact A Trusted Aggravated Assault Lawyer in Toronto

If you have been charged with any of the three offences in Ontario, it’s time to seek experienced legal expertise. You can rely on John Erickson to provide you with vigilant counsel for a dedicated and trusted representation.

Your day-to-day life shouldn’t be affected by the complexities of the offence – contact Erickson Law for a complimentary consultation and experience prudent and timely advice.