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Homicide

Criminal defence lawyers are often asked to explain the difference between first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter. Even though the general public hears these terms all the time – on the news, in the media, and on television crime shows – people are often confused about the difference between the three offences. First-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter are all types of homicide. A person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of another human being. However, the law recognizes that within the spectrum of possible homicides, there are various different degrees of culpability. Thus, the broad category of homicide has been divided into three subcategories: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter. Each subcategory reflects the level of culpability that we impute to the nature of the homicide. According to s. 231(2) of the Criminal Code, first-degree murder refers to a murder that is…

22 Nov 2009

Bail and the Tertiary Ground

11 Nov 2009

Sometimes when an individual is charged with a crime, he or she will be detained in custody pending a bail hearing. At the bail hearing, the Crown Attorney must “show…

Conditional Sentences of House Arrest

2 Nov 2009

Since 1996, judges in Toronto and throughout Canada have been able to sentence those found guilty of a crime to a conditional sentence as an alternative to incarceration. Canada has…

DNA Orders, Primary and Secondary Offences

1 Nov 2009

In 1995, despite resistance on the part of criminal defence lawyers and civil rights activists, Bill C-18 was passed, which amended the Criminal Code to create a regime for collecting…

How Do I Choose A Lawyer?

1 Sep 2009

Facing criminal charges can be intimidating and stressful. One of the first obligations the court puts on an individual accused of a crime is to “retain counsel”. In other words,…

NCR vs. Criminal Responsibility

18 Aug 2009

Usually a trial ends with a finding of either “guilty” or “not guilty”. However, sometimes the court will find an individual “not guilty by reason of mental disorder”. These individuals…

Police Can Legally Search Garbage Without a...

14 Aug 2009

The Supreme Court of Canada made headlines earlier this year when they released their decision in R. v. Patrick (“Patrick”) which confirmed, for the first time ever, that the police…