Basics about Criminal Law in Canada
The part of the law dealing with crimes is called criminal law. This means that there are certain behaviors that are illegal and can be punished by the authorities. In Canada, common methods used to punish defenders include jail term or imprisonment or fines which can range from as little as one dollar to hundreds of thousands of dollars. While self-representation is allowed in some criminal cases, it’s important to hire a criminal lawyer who is experienced and from a reputable firm. Not only will they prevent jail term for you but they will inform you about your legal rights. A criminal lawyer will establish a criminal defence for you depending on the circumstances under which you are accused. Criminal law can be invoked where the crime caused harm or threatened to cause harm which may result to property damage, endanger the safety and life of people. Whenever a person is accused of endangering the moral welfare of people, criminal law can be applied.
Criminal law objective
Unlike the civil law that emphasizes on compensation or conflict resolution, criminal law emphasizes on punishment. This means that serious consequences can be applied to force an individual to abide by the law. In Canada, people have received several sentences under criminal law for various crimes such as life imprisonment and even double life sentences. However, these are sentences for serious offenses such as first-degree murder, drug trafficking, and rape. Other lesser crimes attract fines for the accused, and the fine can differ from jurisdiction to the other in Canada.
All said and done, there are five objectives that criminal law in Canada works to enforce. This can only be effected through punishments such as restoration, rehabilitation, incapacitation as well as deterrence and retribution.
Types of criminal laws
While criminal law is a broad area, there are common criminal laws in Canada, and they include fatal offenses, personal offenses, property offenses and participatory offenses. Fatal offenses include activities like culpable homicide and murder. Whether premeditated or accidental, murder is illegal in many jurisdictions. The accused can plead guilty by insanity if accused of murder. As for homicide, a possible defense is a self-defense which carries a lighter sentence. Personal offenses, on the other hand, consist of activities like sexual abuse, rape, battery, and assault. Property damage consists of criminal trespass, theft, criminal damage, robbery, extortion, and fraud. On the last part about participatory offenses, it includes activities like inchoate offenses, aid and abet as well as an accomplice.
Common defenses in criminal law
This is the part that the accused person tries to show the jury that the evidence by the prosecutor is false. Common defenses exist depending on the nature of the crime committed. People accused of first-degree murder may plead the insanity defense or the coercion and duress defense. Another defense commonly used in criminal cases is the abandonment and withdrawal defense. There is a great source of information available on the Donna V Pledge website.