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Criminal Offence Categories


The main categories of criminal offences in Canada are summary conviction offences and indictable offences. Summary offences are less serious and indictable offences are more serious. Many offences can be prosecuted as either a summary offence or an indictable offence — the Crown prosecutor makes this choice. These offences are called dual offences or hybrid offences. Examples of the different categories of offence types are (but are not limited to):

  • Indictable offences – finger printed under Section 2 of the Identification of Criminals Act – Murder, Assault Bodily Harm, Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm, Break Enter and Theft (re: dwelling house), etc.
  • Summary offences– not finger printed – i.e. Transportation Fraud, Trespassing by Night, Cause a Disturbance, etc.
  • Hybrid offences – Public Mischief, Obstruct Police, Careless Storage of Firearm, Sexual Interference