Classifications of Law

Criminal Law
Unit 2
Why should some behaviors be
considered a crime?
Victims of the behavior
Direct – crime against specific person(s)
How is society a victim?
Financial cost, human cost, psychological
cost, behavioral cost
To be considered a crime…
• Act or omission considered wrong
by society
• Causes harm to society in general
• Harm must be serious
• Remedy/solution is handled by the
criminal justice system
Classifications of Crimes
• Classification is based on the
SERIOUSNESS of the offence
• 3 classifications
• Indictable
• Summary Conviction
• Hybrid or Dual Procedure
Why do we need to classify crimes?
• Based on the seriousness of the offence, the
following are affected:
• Procedures followed by the police (Ex.
Arrest, searching etc.)
• Court process and which court will be
used (Ex. Preliminary hearing, bail, jury)
• Range of Possible punishments available
• How it is treated is usually defined in the criminal
Indictable offences
• Most serious of all offences
• Ex. Murder, armed robbery, kidnapping
II. Summary Conviction Offences
• Also just called “Summary” offences
• Least serious of all types of offences
• Ex. Theft under $5000, prostitution,
III. Hybrid or Dual Procedure
• Some offences may be considered as either summary OR
• If they can be treated as either/or, then they are said to be
• Crown is asked by the judge to decide how they wish to
treat the crime.
• Usually based on the consequences of a behavior or
• Until stated by the crown, it would be treated as serious!
• Ex. Assault, public mischief, failing to stop at the scene of
an accident.