The Elements Of Criminal Law Essay

Submitted By racheledilena
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Pages: 5

THE ELEMENTS OF
CRIMINAL LAW
By: Rachel Di Lena

The Criminal Code
The Criminal Code:
 Is a federal statute that contains the majority of the criminal laws passed by
Parliament.
 It lists offences and sentences that are being imposed as well as the procedures to follow when trying those accused of crimes.  The code is meant to reflect the social values of the majority of Canadians.

Summary Conviction
Offences
Summary Conviction Offence: A crime that is considered less serious and carries a lighter penalty.
 A summary conviction offence is a minor offence with a less severe penalty that more serious crimes.  A person who is convicted of such a crime, could be fined up to $2000 and/or imprisoned for up to six months.
 Summary conviction offences are tried in provincial court before a judge without a jury.
 The Criminal Code states if the crime is classified as a summary conviction.

Indictable Offences
Indictable offence: A more serious crime that carries a heavier penalty.
 An indictable offence is a more serious crime and carries a heavier penalty than a summary conviction offence.
 The Criminal Code establishes maximum penalties for indictable offences, ranging from two years for committing a common nuisance up to life imprisonment for aggravated sexual assault.
 The more serious indictable offences, such as murder and treason (s.469 of the code), must be tried in Superior Court.

Hybrid Offences
Hybrid or dual procedure offence: An offence that the crown can try either as a summary or indictable offence.
 Is one that the Crown can decide to try either as a summary conviction offence or an indictable offence.
 The Criminal Code always makes it clear when an offence is hybrid by stating explicitly that it can be treated either on a summary or indictable basis.

Actus Reus
Actus Reus: “the guilty act,” the voluntary action, omission, or state of being that is forbidden by the Criminal
Code.
 If you with another person then hit that person, you have committed assault.
 The Criminal Code defines the wrongful act clearly and precisely so we know exactly what the law prohibits.

Mens rea
Mens rea: A deliberate intention to commit a wrongful act, with reckless disregard for the consequences.
 The term implies moral guilt—that the accused person deliberately did something he or she knew to be wrong, with reckless disregard for the consequences. Intent
Intent: A state of mind in which someone desires to carry out a wrongful action, knows what the results will be, and is reckless regarding the consequences
 To say that a person had the intent to commit a criminal act means that he or she meant to do something wrong, was reckless regarding the consequences, and knew or should have foreseen the results of the wrongful act.
 There are two kinds of intent in Canada. General
Intent, which means that when a person commits a wrongful act for its own sake, with no ulterior motive or purpose. Specific Intent, which applies when someone commits one wrongful act in order to accomplish another. Knowledge
Knowledge: An awareness of certain facts that can be used to establish mens rea.
 In some cases, the Crown can establish mens rea by showing that the accused had knowledge of certain facts.
 The word ‘knowing’ indicates the mens rea of this offence.
 To establish guilt, the Crown only has to show that the accused knew the document he or she used was forged.

Recklessness
Recklessness: Consciously taking an unjustifiable risk that a reasonable person would not take.
 The crown can also establish mens rea by proving that the accused demonstrated recklessness.
 Recklessness involves consciously taking an unjustifiable risk that a reasonable person would not take.

Strict Liability Offences
Strict Liability Offences: Offences that do not require mens rea but to which the accused can offer the defence of due diligence.
 The accused may acknowledge that the offence took place but then offer the defence of due…