Criminal Paralegal in Oshawa, Toronto, Peterborough, Lindsay, and York Region

Summary Offences


Criminal law in Canada is a function of the federal government. For the most part, this falls under the Criminal Code of Canada. Though some offences fall under other acts. 

The Criminal Code outlines various offences, including summary offences. Summary offences are less serious offences compared to indictable offences and are generally punishable by lower penalties.

A paralegal can offer their legal service within criminal law on summary offences, offering more affordable representation than a lawyer.


Here is a detailed synopsis of summary offences in Canada:

  1. Definition: Summary offences are criminal offences that are less serious. They are generally punishable by fines, probation, or a maximum imprisonment period of 24 months. However, some summary offences may have specific penalties prescribed by law.
  2. Examples: Some common examples of summary offences in Canada include minor assaults, theft under a $5,000, and mischief.
  3. Arrest and Release: In most cases, for summary offences, the police have the authority to arrest the individual without a warrant if they have reasonable grounds. However, for minor offences, the police often issue a summons or appearance notice instead of making an arrest.
  4. Sentencing: There are more sentencing options for summary offences compared to indictable offences. The judge has the discretion to impose fines, probation, community service, restitution (compensation to the victim), or a combination of these. Imprisonment for a summary conviction offence won't exceed 2 years less a day.
  5. Limitation Period: Summary offences have a limitation period within which charges must be laid. In most cases, the prosecution must initiate proceedings within six months from the date the offence. However, some offences may have different limitation periods specified in the Criminal Code or other relevant legislation.
  6. Criminal Record: Summary convictions result in a criminal record. Criminal records can have long-term consequences for employment, travel, and other aspects of an individual's life. However, individuals may be eligible for a record suspension (known as a pardon) after a some time has passed since the completion of their sentence.


It is important to note that the specific details and penalties for summary offences may vary depending on the jurisdiction in Canada. This is due to many factors, including demographics. It is advisable to consult criminal paralegal for accurate and up-to-date information on summary offences.


Do you need legal representation? No, you may represent yourself in a criminal matter, however, if you do, you must understand that it can be more detrimental to your case than not having someone who understands the law and the process around it. This question is best asked as "Should I have legal representation?", and the answer is a resounding yes!

However, representation comes at a cost, and that cost can be quite overwhelming for some, and this is something we may be able to help with as well. Life can be hard, expenses come up, jobs are lost, etc., be upfront if you are in a situation and we can try and work something out.

If you are in the surrounding areas of Oshawa, Lindsay, Peterborough, Newmarket, and Cobourg, and in need of legal service in a criminal law matter, contact us to discuss your options.

The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws.
Edward Abbey, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto) (1990).