Anda di halaman 1dari 3

Mens Rea (Guilty Mind)

The Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant carried out a
guilty act with the criminal intent or mens rea.
Intent in the legal sense means having knowledge or being reckless or wilfully blind to
the consequences of an act.
Depending on the crime, the definition of intent can change

General Intent versus Specific Intent

General intent
Means to commit a wrongful act for its own sake, with no other purpose or
Dave punches Luke because he is angry. Dave has general intent to
commit assault.
For mens rea to be proven, all that needs to be done is to show that Dave
punched Luke

General Intent versus Specific Intent

Specific intent
Involves intent in addition to the general intent to commit the crime. It is
committing one wrongful act to accomplish another
E.g Burglary is the breaking and entering of a dwelling-house with intent to
commit an indictable offense. The break and enter requires general intent, the
intent to commit an indictable offense requires specific intent
In order to prove burglary, the Crown not only has to show that a person broke
into a house, but also had the specific intent of stealing.


In order to have the requisite mens rea to commit a crime, a person must have some
knowledge of the actus reus of the crime
E.g. S 268 1 (a) of the Criminal Code states that Everyone who, knowing that a
document is forged, uses, deals, or acts upon it is guilty of circulating a forged
To establish guilt, the Crown only has to prove that the person knew the document was
forged.... Nothing about intent.
Recklessness & Negligence

Crown can also establish mens rea by proving accused acted reckless or negligent.
Usually involves taking an unjustifiable risk that a reasonable person would not
Eg. recklessly shooting a pellet gun into a crowd. The accused may not have tried
to hurt someone, but they should have been able to foresee harm
doing something or omitting to do something with wanton disregard for the
lives or safety of other persons
Example: throwing a beer bottle out of a moving vehicle and injuring someone

Willful Blindness

Suspects a criminal outcome but does not ask the questions to confirm
Turning a blind eye to the consequences of your action
Example: buying stolen property that you should know has been stolen
E.g. transporting something illegal such as drugs in a trunk

Three Types of Offences

Summary Conviction Offences

Indictable Offences
Hybrid Offences

Summary Conviction

These offences are the least serious and trials for these convictions are held at the lower
courts of the Ontario Court of Justice.
The accused does not have a right to a jury trial.
Trials in these cases are held in front of a judge alone, and sentencing for this type of
offence ranges, with the maximum penalty being a fine of up to $2000 and/or six
months in jail, unless otherwise specified by law.

Summary Conviction Cont

Usually a person is not arrested for a summary offence, but will receive a notice to
appear in court.
The accused does not have to appear in court personally. A lawyer may represent the
person in the court proceedings.
A person cannot be fingerprinted for a summary conviction offence and is eligible for a
pardon three years after the sentence is completed.
Examples of summary offences include: causing a public disturbance, loitering, and
having open alcohol in public.

Indictable Offences

Indictable offences are more serious than summary offences

The procedure followed depends on the seriousness of the offence.
For less serious indictable offences, trials are done before a provincial court judge, while
the most serious indictable offences, such as murder, must be tried by a judge and jury.
For some indictable offences, the accused is put to an election between being tried by a
provincial court judge, a superior court judge alone, or a superior court judge with a jury.

Indictable Offence Cont

A person charged with an indictable offence must show up personally in court.

There is no limit on how much time can elapse between the alleged act and the arrest,
which means that police can charge the person years after the offence occurred.
The maximum penalty for indictable offences is life imprisonment.
Examples of indictable offences include: murder, robbery, and kidnapping.

Hybrid Offences

Hybrid offences are also known as dual procedure offences and can be tried as either
summary conviction or indictable offences.
The Crown chooses whether it wants to prosecute as a summary or an indictable
offence, usually depending upon the circumstances of the incident, and factors about
the offender.

Hybrid Offences Cont

Examples of hybrid offences include: impaired driving, assault, theft under $5000, and
failing to provide the necessaries of life.
Most offences in the Criminal Code are hybrid offences. Hybrid offences are treated as
indictable offences until the Crown chooses which way it wants to proceed. This means
that an accused will be fingerprinted on arrest, even though it is possible that he will be
tried for a summary conviction offence.