Legislation on offences against the person


ASSAULT

Did you know that a single threatening gesture toward another may constitute assault? Did you know that by merely posing a threatening gesture towards another may constitute assault?

265. (1) A person commits an assault when

(a) without the consent of another person, he applies force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly;

(b) he attempts or threatens, by an act or a gesture, to apply force to another person, if he has, or causes that other person to believe on reasonable grounds that he has, present ability to effect his purpose; or

(c) while openly wearing or carrying a weapon or an imitation thereof, he accosts or impedes another person or begs.

Application

(2) This section applies to all forms of assault, including sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.

Consent

(3) For the purposes of this section, no consent is obtained where the complainant submits or does not resist by reason of

        (a) the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;

        (b) threats or fear of the application of force to the complainant or to a person other than the complainant;

        (c) fraud; or

        (d) the exercise of authority.

Accused’s belief as to consent

(4) Where an accused alleges that he believed that the complainant consented to the conduct that is the subject-matter of the charge, a judge, if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that, if believed by the jury, the evidence would constitute a defence, shall instruct the jury, when reviewing all the evidence relating to the determination of the honesty of the accused’s belief, to consider the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for that belief.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 244; 1974-75-76, c. 93, s. 21; 1980-81-82-83, c. 125, s. 19.


Kidnapping

        279. (1) Every person commits an offence who kidnaps a person with intent

        (a) to cause the person to be confined or imprisoned against the person’s will;

        (b) to cause the person to be unlawfully sent or transported out of Canada against the person’s will; or

        (c) to hold the person for ransom or to service against the person’s will.

Punishment

(1.1) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

        (a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

        (i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and

        (ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

        (a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years;

        (a.2) if the person referred to in paragraph (1)(a), (b) or (c) is under 16 years of age, to imprisonment for life and, unless the person who commits the offence is a parent, guardian or person having the lawful care or charge of the person referred to in that paragraph, to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years; and

        (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

Subsequent offences

(1.2) In determining, for the purpose of paragraph (1.1)(a), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

        (a) an offence under subsection (1);

        (b) an offence under subsection 85(1) or (2) or section 244 or 244.2; or

        (c) an offence under section 220, 236, 239, 272, 273, 279.1, 344 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

        However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.

Factors to consider

(1.21) In imposing a sentence under paragraph (1.1)(a.2), the court shall take into account the age and vulnerability of the victim.

Sequence of convictions only

(1.3) For the purposes of subsection (1.2), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.


Forcible confinement 

279(2) Every one who, without lawful authority, confines, imprisons or forcibly seizes another person is guilty of

        (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

        (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

Non-resistance

(3) In proceedings under this section, the fact that the person in relation to whom the offence is alleged to have been committed did not resist is not a defence unless the accused proves that the failure to resist was not caused by threats, duress, force or exhibition of force.

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 279; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 39; 1995, c. 39, s. 147; 1997, c. 18, s. 14; 2008, c. 6, s. 30; 2009, c. 22, s. 12; 2013, c. 32, s. 1.


Robbery

Did you know that bullying (taxage) on the street can be constitute robbery?

Robbery

343. Every one commits robbery who

(a) steals, and for the purpose of extorting whatever is stolen or to prevent or overcome resistance to the stealing, uses violence or threats of violence to a person or property;

(b) steals from any person and, at the time he steals or immediately before or immediately thereafter, wounds, beats, strikes or uses any personal violence to that person;

(c) assaults any person with intent to steal from him; or

(d) steals from any person while armed with an offensive weapon or imitation thereof.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 302.


Criminal harassment

Did you know that a single event, such as a phone call, could constitute harassment ?

Criminal harassment

        264. (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

Prohibited conduct

(2) The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of

        (a) repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;

        (b) repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;

        (c) besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or

        (d) engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

Punishment

(3) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of

        (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

        (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

        Factors to be considered
(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court imposing the sentence on the person shall consider as an aggravating factor that, at the time the offence was committed, the person contravened

        (a) the terms or conditions of an order made pursuant to section 161 or a recognizance entered into pursuant to section 810, 810.1 or 810.2; or

        (b) the terms or conditions of any other order or recognizance made or entered into under the common law or a provision of this or any other Act of Parliament or of a province that is similar in effect to an order or recognizance referred to in paragraph (a).

Reasons

(5) Where the court is satisfied of the existence of an aggravating factor referred to in subsection (4), but decides not to give effect to it for sentencing purposes, the court shall give reasons for its decision.

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 264; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 37; 1993, c. 45, s. 2; 1997, c. 16, s. 4, c. 17, s. 9; 2002, c. 13, s. 10.


Unauthorized posssession of firearms

Did you know that using an imitation of a firearm can bring a prison sentence?

Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose

88. (1) Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.

Punishment

(2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)

        (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

        (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 88; 1995, c. 39, s. 139.


Sexual assault

Aggravated sexual assault

        273. (1) Every one commits an aggravated sexual assault who, in committing a sexual assault, wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.

Aggravated sexual assault

(2) Every person who commits an aggravated sexual assault is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

        (a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

        (i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and

        (ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

        (a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and

        (a.2) if the complainant is under the age of 16 years, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years; and

        (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

Subsequent offences

(3) In determining, for the purpose of paragraph (2)(a), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

        (a) an offence under this section;

        (b) an offence under subsection 85(1) or (2) or section 244 or 244.2; or

        (c) an offence under section 220, 236, 239 or 272, subsection 279(1) or section 279.1, 344 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

        However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.

Sequence of convictions only

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 273; 1995, c. 39, s. 146; 2008, c. 6, s. 29; 2009, c. 22, s. 11; 2012, c. 1, s. 27.

Meaning of “consent”

        273.1 (1) Subject to subsection (2) and subsection 265(3), “consent” means, for the purposes of sections 271, 272 and 273, the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question.

Where no consent obtained

(2) No consent is obtained, for the purposes of sections 271, 272 and 273, where

        (a) the agreement is expressed by the words or conduct of a person other than the complainant;

        (b) the complainant is incapable of consenting to the activity;

        (c) the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority;

        (d) the complainant expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to engage in the activity; or

        (e) the complainant, having consented to engage in sexual activity, expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to continue to engage in the activity.

        Subsection (2) not limiting
(3) Nothing in subsection (2) shall be construed as limiting the circumstances in which no consent is obtained.

        1992, c. 38, s. 1.

Where belief in consent not a defence

273.2 It is not a defence to a charge under section 271, 272 or 273 that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge, where

        (a) the accused’s belief arose from the accused’s

        (i) self-induced intoxication, or

        (ii) recklessness or wilful blindness; or

        (b) the accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain that the complainant was consenting.

        1992, c. 38, s. 1.


Murder, manslaughter 

Murder

229. Culpable homicide is murder

        (a) where the person who causes the death of a human being

        (i) means to cause his death, or

        (ii) means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not;

        (b) where a person, meaning to cause death to a human being or meaning to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and being reckless whether death ensues or not, by accident or mistake causes death to another human being, notwithstanding that he does not mean to cause death or bodily harm to that human being; or

        (c) where a person, for an unlawful object, does anything that he knows or ought to know is likely to cause death, and thereby causes death to a human being, notwithstanding that he desires to effect his object without causing death or bodily harm to any human being.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 212.

Murder in commission of offences

230. Culpable homicide is murder where a person causes the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit high treason or treason or an offence mentioned in section 52 (sabotage), 75 (piratical acts), 76 (hijacking an aircraft), 144 or subsection 145(1) or sections 146 to 148 (escape or rescue from prison or lawful custody), section 270 (assaulting a peace officer), section 271 (sexual assault), 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm), 273 (aggravated sexual assault), 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement), 279.1 (hostage taking), 343 (robbery), 348 (breaking and entering) or 433 or 434 (arson), whether or not the person means to cause death to any human being and whether or not he knows that death is likely to be caused to any human being, if

        (a) he means to cause bodily harm for the purpose of

        (i) facilitating the commission of the offence, or

        (ii) facilitating his flight after committing or attempting to commit the offence,

        and the death ensues from the bodily harm;

        (b) he administers a stupefying or overpowering thing for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (a), and the death ensues therefrom; or

        (c) he wilfully stops, by any means, the breath of a human being for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (a), and the death ensues therefrom.

        (d) [Repealed, 1991, c. 4, s. 1]

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 230; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 40; 1991, c. 4, s. 1.

Classification of murder

        231. (1) Murder is first degree murder or second degree murder.

        Planned and deliberate murder
(2) Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.

Contracted murder
(3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), murder is planned and deliberate when it is committed pursuant to an arrangement under which money or anything of value passes or is intended to pass from one person to another, or is promised by one person to another, as consideration for that other’s causing or assisting in causing the death of anyone or counselling another person to do any act causing or assisting in causing that death.

Murder of peace officer, etc.
(4) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the victim is

        (a) a police officer, police constable, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace, acting in the course of his duties;

        (b) a warden, deputy warden, instructor, keeper, jailer, guard or other officer or a permanent employee of a prison, acting in the course of his duties; or

        (c) a person working in a prison with the permission of the prison authorities and acting in the course of his work therein.

Hijacking, sexual assault or kidnapping
(5) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder in respect of a person when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under one of the following sections:

        (a) section 76 (hijacking an aircraft);

        (b) section 271 (sexual assault);

        (c) section 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm);

        (d) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault);

        (e) section 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement); or

        (f) section 279.1 (hostage taking).

Criminal harassment
(6) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 264 and the person committing that offence intended to cause the person murdered to fear for the safety of the person murdered or the safety of anyone known to the person murdered.

Murder — terrorist activity
(6.01) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament if the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity.

Murder — criminal organization
(6.1) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when

        (a) the death is caused by that person for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization; or

        (b) the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization.

Intimidation
(6.2) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 423.1.

        Second degree murder
(7) All murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder.

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 231; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 7, 35, 40, 185(F), c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F); 1997, c. 16, s. 3, c. 23, s. 8; 2001, c. 32, s. 9, c. 41, s. 9; 2009, c. 22, s. 5.

Murder reduced to manslaughter

        232. (1) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.
        What is provocation
(2) A wrongful act or an insult that is of such a nature as to be sufficient to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control is provocation for the purposes of this section if the accused acted on it on the sudden and before there was time for his passion to cool.
        Questions of fact
(3) For the purposes of this section, the questions

        (a) whether a particular wrongful act or insult amounted to provocation, and
        (b) whether the accused was deprived of the power of self-control by the provocation that he alleges he received,

        are questions of fact, but no one shall be deemed to have given provocation to another by doing anything that he had a legal right to do, or by doing anything that the accused incited him to do in order to provide the accused with an excuse for causing death or bodily harm to any human being.
        Death during illegal arrest
(4) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder is not necessarily manslaughter by reason only that it was committed by a person who was being arrested illegally, but the fact that the illegality of the arrest was known to the accused may be evidence of provocation for the purpose of this section.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 215.

Infanticide

233. A female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect of lactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is then disturbed.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 216.

Manslaughter

234. Culpable homicide that is not murder or infanticide is manslaughter.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 217.

Punishment for murder

        235. (1) Every one who commits first degree murder or second degree murder is guilty of an indictable offence and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life.
        Minimum punishment
(2) For the purposes of Part XXIII, the sentence of imprisonment for life prescribed by this section is a minimum punishment.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 218; 1973-74, c. 38, s. 3; 1974-75-76, c. 105, s. 5.

Manslaughter

236. Every person who commits manslaughter is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

        (a) where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
        (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 236; 1995, c. 39, s. 142.

Punishment for infanticide

237. Every female person who commits infanticide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 220.

Killing unborn child in act of birth

        238. (1) Every one who causes the death, in the act of birth, of any child that has not become a human being, in such a manner that, if the child were a human being, he would be guilty of murder, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.
        Saving
(2) This section does not apply to a person who, by means that, in good faith, he considers necessary to preserve the life of the mother of a child, causes the death of that child.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 221.

Attempt to commit murder

        239. (1) Every person who attempts by any means to commit murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

        (a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

        (i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and
        (ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

        (a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and
        (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

        Subsequent offences
(2) In determining, for the purpose of paragraph (1)(a), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

        (a) an offence under this section;
        (b) an offence under subsection 85(1) or (2) or section 244 or 244.2; or
        (c) an offence under section 220, 236, 272 or 273, subsection 279(1) or section 279.1, 344 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

        However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.
        Sequence of convictions only
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 239; 1995, c. 39, s. 143; 2008, c. 6, s. 16; 2009, c. 22, s. 6.

Accessory after fact to murder

240. Every one who is an accessory after the fact to murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

        R.S., c. C-34, s. 223.


Use of a firearm in the commission of an offense

Did you know that the law provides for a minimum prison sentence for the use of a false (an imitation) firearm?

Using firearm in commission of offence

        85. (1) Every person commits an offence who uses a firearm, whether or not the person causes or means to cause bodily harm to any person as a result of using the firearm,

        (a) while committing an indictable offence, other than an offence under section 220 (criminal negligence causing death), 236 (manslaughter), 239 (attempted murder), 244 (discharging firearm with intent), 244.2 (discharging firearm — recklessness), 272 (sexual assault with a weapon) or 273 (aggravated sexual assault), subsection 279(1) (kidnapping) or section 279.1 (hostage taking), 344 (robbery) or 346 (extortion);

        (b) while attempting to commit an indictable offence; or

        (c) during flight after committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence.

Using imitation firearm in commission of offence

(2) Every person commits an offence who uses an imitation firearm

        (a) while committing an indictable offence,

        (b) while attempting to commit an indictable offence, or

        (c) during flight after committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence,

        whether or not the person causes or means to cause bodily harm to any person as a result of using the imitation firearm.

Punishment

(3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

        (a) in the case of a first offence, except as provided in paragraph (b), to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; and

        (b) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of three years.

        (c) [Repealed, 2008, c. 6, s. 3]

        Sentences to be served consecutively
(4) A sentence imposed on a person for an offence under subsection (1) or (2) shall be served consecutively to any other punishment imposed on the person for an offence arising out of the same event or series of events and to any other sentence to which the person is subject at the time the sentence is imposed on the person for an offence under subsection (1) or (2).

        R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 85; 1995, c. 39, s. 139; 2003, c. 8, s. 3; 2008, c. 6, s. 3; 2009, c. 22, s. 3.