In British Columbia there are 3 essential kinds of felony offences. They’re (1) purely abstract conviction offences, (2) purely indictable offences, and (3) hybrid offences.
These 3 kinds of offences are set out within the Prison Code of Canada.
Purely abstract conviction offences
The record of abstract conviction offences is about out in part 553 of the Prison Code. These are essentially the most minor prices in comparison with indictable and hybrid offences. Examples embody theft (beneath $5,000) and mischief prices.
Purely indictable offences
Indictable offences are essentially the most critical felony offences. These offences are set out in part 469 of the Prison Code. Examples of indictable offences embody homicide and treason.
Hybrid offences are all these not listed in both part 553 or 469 of the Prison Code. Nearly all of felony offences in Canada are hybrid.
What hybrid offence means is the prosecutor can select whether or not to categorise an offence as abstract conviction or indictable. How a cost is assessed determines how a cost is processed by way of the felony courtroom system.
Course of: abstract conviction vs. indictable
The 2 essential variations are (1) the utmost punishments, and (2) the courtroom course of.
When the prosecutor has the choice to decide on (i.e. hybrid offence), the abstract conviction most punishments are sometimes much less extreme than indictable classification.
For instance, an impaired driving cost (aka working whereas impaired) is a hybrid offence the place the prosecutor can select to proceed summarily or by indictment. As an indictable offence, the utmost punishment is 5 years in jail; as a abstract conviction offence, the utmost punishment is eighteen months.
One other distinction is the courtroom course of.
In British Columbia, felony instances are processed and heard provincial courts and supreme courts. All trials in Provincial Court docket are heard by decide alone, whereas trials in Supreme Court docket could also be heard by a decide alone or decide and jury.
Purely abstract conviction offences (these listed in part 553 within the Prison Code) are processed and heard solely in Provincial Court docket. Because of this an accused would not have the choice for a jury or a preliminary inquiry.
If a cost is a hybrid offence, and the prosecutor classifies it as indictable, then the accused can select whether or not to have the case processed and heard in Provincial Court docket or Supreme Court docket.
The principle distinction with Supreme Court docket is the choice for a jury and preliminary inquiry (a pre-trial listening to the place the prosecutor presents proof to the courtroom to find out whether or not there may be adequate proof to proceed towards the accused).
If the prosecutor chooses to categorise and proceed by indictment (i.e. indictable offence), then the accused chooses whether or not to have the case heard in Provincial Court docket or in Supreme Court docket by decide alone or decide and jury.
Purely indictable offences (these listed in part 469 of the Prison Code) are processed and heard solely in Supreme Court docket. The default trial mode is decide and jury; nonetheless, if the accused and prosecutor consent, the trial could also be heard by decide alone.
That units out the three kinds of felony offences in British Columbia.