Maximum Sentence in Canada: Understanding the Consequences





Maximum Sentence in Canada: Understanding the Consequences

The maximum sentence an offender can receive in Canada is life in prison.

Factors That Affect Sentencing

Indicates whether the defendant entered into an agreement with the prosecution to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence, or provided information or assistance to the authorities in investigating or prosecuting the case.
Refers to circumstances, such as acting under duress or coercion or because it was necessary to prevent greater harm, which may reduce the defendant’s degree of responsibility or moral culpability for the offence.
Refers to the evidence or arguments presented by both the prosecution and the defence that may affect the sentence. For example, evidence of the defendant’s previous bad acts or mitigating circumstances such as mental illness or addiction.
Refers to the defendant’s military service, public service, or other achievements that may be relevant to their sentence.
This refers to the specific legislation, policies and case law in the jurisdiction where the offence has been committed that might affect the sentence, for example, mandatory minimum sentencing, sentencing guidelines or prevailing community attitudes to punishment.
The extent to which the defendant has cooperated with law enforcement and other authorities in the investigation and prosecution of their own case may be a factor in sentencing. Cooperation can demonstrate acceptance of responsibility and may be considered by the court as a mitigating factor.
The defendant’s age and any physical or mental health problems may be relevant to the court in determining an appropriate sentence, for example, an older defendant or one with a serious health problem may be sentenced more leniently.
Sentences may be harsher than those imposed on accomplices or those who played minor roles.
The court may consider the ability of the accused to make restitution to the victims and / or to the State.
Sentencing may be influenced by the aim of deterring the defendant and others from committing similar offences in the future; a severe sentence may act as a deterrent, whereas a lesser sentence may not.
The safety and protection of the public is a key consideration in sentencing. A sentence may be increased for an offender who poses a significant threat to public safety to prevent him from committing further offences.
The potential of the defendant to be rehabilitated, or the ability to be successfully treated or trained so as not to reoffend, may be taken into account in determining an appropriate sentence A defendant who appears to have a high probability of being successfully rehabilitated may be sentenced more leniently.
A court is required to follow sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimums established by state or federal law.
Statutory aggravating circumstances are elements of the crime or defendant’s conduct that increase the severity of the sentence, while mitigating circumstances are elements that decrease the severity of the sentence.
Community and judicial views on the appropriate punishment for a particular offence can be a factor in sentencing. Public opinion and the views of the judge or sentencing panel can influence the perceived severity of a particular sentence.
The extent to which the defendant has been of assistance to law enforcement or other authorities in their investigation or prosecution of the offence may be a factor in the sentencing decision.
Age, mental health and physical health of an accused person are relevant to sentencing because they affect his or her ability to understand consequences of his or her actions and his or her ability to rehabilitate.
The defendant’s role in committing the offence can also be considered, with those who played a leading or more active role often receiving harsher sentences.
This factor relates to the specific details and events surrounding the commission of the offence, including the means used and the extenuating and mitigating facts.
This factor considers the defendant’s previous criminal record, including any previous convictions, as well as the defendant’s previous sentencing history.
This factor takes into account the overall background of the defendant, including education, employment, family situation and any history of drug or alcohol abuse.
This factor takes into account the defendant’s expression of remorse for the offence committed, including any apology or expression of regret.
This factor is an assessment of the physical, emotional and financial harm to the victim(s) as a result of the crime and the impact the crime has had on their lives.

Contact Us

Been Arrested or Charged with A Criminal Offence? Get Help Now!

If you have been arrested or need assistance with a criminal matter, contact me to discuss your case.

Jeffrey I Reisman
Criminal Defence Lawyer
1000 Finch Ave. West, Suite 705 A
Toronto, ON M3J 2V5

Phone: 647-370-4282
Email: [email protected]

24/7 Availability And Client Support

20 Years Of Criminal Defence Experience