Legal Help May Be Available For Defending Certain Types of Criminal Code Charges
Prosecutions alleging violations of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, can be very concerning whereas the short-term affects may involve significant fines as well as the potential for loss of freedom and liberty in the form of jail time.
Criminal Code matters may vary in the method of procedure involved depending on the severity of the alleged offence. The most severe offences, known as indictable offences, involved the most formal procedures. The less severe offences, known as summary offences, provide for a leaner and more efficient process. Additionally, some offences, known as hybrid offences, are selectable as either indictable proceedings or summary proceedings at the option of the prosecutor acting for the Crown. Lawyers, subject to competency, are permitted to provide representation in any matter proceeding as a Criminal Code offence. Paralegals are permitted to provide representation, again subject to competency, as a summary proceeding where the potential penalty is a maximum of $5,000 and/or six months in jail. For certain hybrid offences, paralegals may also provide representation after the Crown selects to proceed as a summary proceeding.