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Penalties for criminal offences

Region: Ontario Answer # 739

Penalties under the Criminal Code

The penalties for criminal offences are set out in the Criminal Code and vary widely depending on each specific offence. For most minor offences, which in law are called summary conviction offences, the maximum punishment is a fine of $5,000 or six months in prison, or both. For serious offences, which in law are called indictable offences, the maximum punishment can range anywhere from two years in prison to life in prison, depending on the offence. Some offences under the Criminal Code have minimum penalties, which means that the sentencing judge has no discretion to sentence below the set minimum. If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.

Other factors that affect your penalty

Although the Criminal Code establishes a range of penalties, the Court will generally also look at your personal circumstances, such as whether this is your first offence and whether you are employed and have a family, when deciding your final penalty. The circumstances in which the offence was committed are also very important. You should have a lawyer assist you at your sentencing hearing.

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-877-219-1644 or learn more at Federal Pardon Waiver Services. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact our preferred criminal defence experts, The Criminal Law Team .


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