Major Classifications Of Criminal Offenses

In different countries, classification of criminal offences may be different from others, and so are their penalties and punishments. In Canada, there are 3 over-arching types of criminal offences and criminal lawyers Toronto specialize in any of these fields. These over-arching categorization of offences dictate, to some degree, the punishment. Its akin to the USA categorization of misdemeanor and felony offences. Before moving on to the classifications, make sure you hired the best lawyer who can address the nature and severity of the offence on you. In this regard Brian Ross Criminal Lawyer has been one of the best criminal lawyers in Newmarket, with years of experience in the field.

Here are the 3 main classifications in a nutshell:

1. Summary Conviction offence

An offence that is not as serious as an indictable offence. Summary offences are usually tried in the lower courts (provincial) and have a less complicated process and lesser sentence or punishment. An example of a summary conviction offence would be trespassing.

2. Indictable offence

This is more serious charge than a summary offence. Indictable offences are generally heard by a judge and jury in the higher courts and the sentence tends to be heavier than sentences for a summary conviction offence. An example of an indictable offence would be murder.

3. Hybrid offences

A hybrid offence is an offence that could go either way. It could be tried as a summary conviction (summarily) or as an indictable offence (by indictment). It is up to the prosecutor (crown counsel) to choose how it will charge the individual. Hybrid offences generally fall in between summary convictions and indictable offences when it comes to seriousness and in Canada the majority of criminal charges tend to be classified as hybrid offences. Examples of a hybrid offence would be impaired driving.

Paperwork And Further Legal Processes

In case youre arrested;

The paperwork will be completed by the prosecutor or Crown Counsel

The paperwork will be handed over for you or your criminal defence lawyer Toronto

This paperwork is also known as Disclosure. Some people call it the information document. It reveals the kind of charges youve been accused of, whether summary offence or indictable offence. Even though what youre charged with is really a hybrid offence, the Information will lay out whether the prosecutor is proceeding together with your charge summarily or being an indictable offence.

Sometimes, people thought we would hire the lawyer after being given the paperwork by the prosecutor. If you participate in this category, and are searching for a Toronto criminal defense attorney:

1. When you schedule your consultation, its a good idea to take your paperwork with you so the lawyer with whom you consult can review the particulars, and

2. Take you through the type of offence youre facing as well as provide your rights and/or legal defences going forward.


Knowing the law is really important and there is no excuse in the event that you violate any rules plus regulations because you dont know them. With all the basic information available here, now all you have to is, find the right legislationyer to represent you in the court.