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LWSO 203 Lecture Notes - Voir Dire, Summary Offence, Indictable Offence

Law and Society
Course Code
LWSO 203
Marywyatt Sindlinger

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Criminal Code of Canada Assault Provisions
Crown (the state on behalf of all citizens)
Accused or Defendant (person accused of crime)
Offender (someone convicted of a crime)
Joint trial (group of criminals share one trial)
Severed trial (a criminal group is split up and each has a trial)
-no accused can be compelled to testify in a trial against themselves so they can testify against
one another if they’re split up
3 types of offenses:
A) summary conviction offenses
-less serious offenses
-max penalty: 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $2000
ex. Disturbances, indecent acts
I) you get caught
II) Appearance notice
III) Attend court, name called, and an information (I have reasonable grounds to believe
that the accused has committed this offense) is laid
IV) Sworn before judge
V) Accused can plead or ask for an adjurnment
VI) You can adjurn and seek legal counsel, plead guilty and be sentenced (generally done
right in court), or plead not guilty and set a trial date
VII) Sometimes if guilty plea is received, Pre Sentencing Report can be requested which
involves background information on accused ie. Psychiatric analysis, substance abuse
VIII) If plea is not guilty, they go to provincial inferior court in front of 1 judge and no
jury. Crown must prove guilty beyond reasonable doubt
IX) “Voir Dire” Hear say- mini trial withing a trial. Purpose: determines if certain
evidence is admissible in a trial
X) Judge determines guilty or not guilty
XI) Appeal- goes to provincial superior court (Court of Queen’s Bench)
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Indictable Offenses:
Most serious offenses in the criminal court
Ex. Robbery, murder
Max sentences: life in prison, any monetary amount
a) Put in Remand Center
b) 1st appearance (Bail Hearing): bail judge or inferior court judge determines whether
accused can be released on bail
c) 2nd appearance (Election): accused decides between inferior court or superior court
I) inferior: no juries, 1 judge, follows same procedure as summary conviction offense
-exception: if appealed, goes to provincial superior court
II) superior court: judges from a variety of backgrounds, has choice b/w judge or
judge & jury
-option of having preliminry inquiry (takes place in inferior court, crown presents
enough evidence to prove there is a prima facis case against them)
-tests validity of evidence
-testimony gathered can be used at trial
-if there isnt enough evidence, accused can put forth motion to dismiss
d) Trial: evidence put forth, formal plea, motions of the trial, voir dire,
-If jury present, court must instruct/charge jury (what are the elements of case,
evidentiary review, possibly charges, intructions to jury)
e) Jury Deliberation- private deliberation
f) Jury makes decision:
-not guilty (free to go)
- Guilty: jury released (they do not sentence), judges sentences (not usually same day)
e) Appeals: Provincial Court of Appeal
-accused can change their plea at any time
Hybrid Offenses:
Either a indictable or summary conviction offense (can go either way)
Crown decides which type of offense it will be
A) 1st appearance: charge is read to accused, crown decides which way to proceed
I) Factors which Crown considers:
-seriousness of offence
- accused’s criminal history
-damages to victim, harm caused
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