Lay Person's Guide To The Criminal Prosecution Process

The following descriptions are for general information only.

In all cases refer to the Click here Criminal Code of Canada for precise descriptions of offences and the law itself.

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Criminal Offences: What do the charges

really mean in plain English?

Plain language explanation of types of criminal charges.

Criminal Offences Defined


Assault is legally defined as unconsented touching. The slightest intentional touch, can constitute assault if it is not consented to, by the person being touched.

Domestic Assault

Domestic Assault is not actually a separate charge. It is just a simple assault that is treated differently because of public policy. It is used by vindictive women in divorce to destroy the man's chances for a reasonable fair divorce. False accusations are never punished.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is an assault with the added element of contact for a sexual purpose. There is no longer a charge of rape, which required penetration. All that is required for this charge is an unconsented touching, for a sexual purpose.

Sexual Interference

Sexual Interference is the touching for a sexual purpose of a person under the age of 14. This offence has a minimum penalty of 14 days in jail, if convicted summarily or 45 days if convicted by indictment.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation is the sexual assault of or sexual interference with, or the invitation to sexual touching of a person under the age of 18, by a person in a position of trust or authority over the young person.

Invitation to Sexual Touching

This is the inciting, counselling, the invitation or the attempt to convince, for a sexual purpose, a person under the age of 14, to touch a person.

Assault with weapon or Assault Causing Bodily Harm

These are hybrid offences where weapons are used or brandished, or used to threaten a complainant or actual bodily harm is caused to the complainant.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated Assault is an assault with some elevated grievous element which  wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant. This is a strictly indictable offence, for which there is no minimum penalty and the maximum is fourteen years imprisonment.

Theft Under/Over

Theft is the taking of a good or service from its owner or rightful possessor. The crime or offence is divided into those offences where the value of the goods taken is over $5000 and those where the value of the goods is less than $5000.


Possession of Stolen Property or Property Obtained by Crime is the offence of having or possessing property which was transferred by a criminal offence such as theft, extortion, robbery etc. The accused person must know, or be willfully blind to the fact that the property was obtained by crime.


Robbery is the taking of property by the use of force or the threat of the use of force.

Criminal Offences Defined


Murder is the unlawful killing of a person, after planning and devising of the means to kill the person


Manslaughter is the negligent killing of person. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a person by accident. Murder can also be reduced to manslaughter if the perpetrator is extraordinarily intoxicated at the time of the offence.

Criminal Negligence

Criminal Negligence is Gross or Extreme Negligence. It requires a marked departure from a normal standard of care or conduct which shows a "wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons."

Criminal Harassment

Criminal Harassment is a very vague offence which has become even more vague in its application. It consists of causing a "reasonable" fear in someone for the safety of themselves or their family, by repeatedly following, repeated communication with, watching or engaging in threatening conduct directed at the person or family of the person.

Prowl by Night

Loitering on the property of another person, near a dwelling house and at night is a summary conviction offence.


Current laws on prostitution in Canada, introduced in 2014, make it illegal to purchase sexual services but legal to sell them. Bizarre, political correctness gone insane. How can it be legal to sell something, but illegal to buy it? Only in Canada eh?

It is politically correct to say prostitutes are exploited victims, but that is  feminist nonsense. Most prostitutes do it because is it easy quick money. Every woman has traded sex for some form of gain at some time. Sex is a commodity.

Obstruction of Justice

Is the attempt to defeat, obstruct, pervert the course of justice in a judicial proceeding.


Mischief is the destruction of or the interference with the use of property.


Arson is the burning of property.

Public Mischief

Public Mischief is the causing of the police to enter into an investigation by making a false statement or false report. Women do this all the time when they make false assault complaints but they never get charged or punished.

Reporting reality does not make us sexist. It makes us realists.

Break and Enter

Break and Enter is the entrance into a building for the purpose of committing an indictable offence or the unlawful entrance into a home, house or abode.

Criminal Offences Defined


Production is the manufacture of a controlled substance or narcotic.

Grow Operations

A grow operation is essentially the farming or the growth of marijuana.

Possession of Narcotics/Controlled Substance

Having or exercising control over narcotics or controlled substances unlawfully


To traffic is to: sell, administer, give, transfer, transport, send, deliver a controlled substance or to sell an authorization to obtain a substance or to offer to do any of the preceding.


Forgery is the making of a false document.

Uttering Forged Documents

Uttering is the use or attempt to cause the use of a document known to be false.

False Pretenses

A False Pretense is the representation of a false fact with the fraudulent intent to induce a person to act on the misrepresentation.


Obtain Credit by Fraud or False Pretense

This is the obtaining of credit by way of making a false statement.

Threaten Death/Bodily Harm

Making the threat to kill or harm someone.

Dangerous Driving

Dangerous Driving is driving a motor vehicle in a manner that is a marked departure from normal and safe driving practices.

Dangerous driving causing Bodily Harm/Death

This is dangerous driving with the added consequence of harming or killing a person

Criminal Defence Drunk Driving Over 80 Impaired Driving by Drugs Drug Possession & Drug Trafficking Assault Aggravated Assault Assault with a Weapon Domestic Assault Sexual Assault Harassment Weapons Offences Homicide Theft Bail Hearings Mischief Shoplifting Uttering Threats Assault

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Guide to the criminal law process
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This is not legal advice, it is information

Lay Person's Guide To The Criminal Prosecution Process

Last Updated:

Bail Hearings & Reviews Estreatment Hearings Murder & Manslaughter Assaults & Robbery Break & Enter Theft & Possession Fraud & Forgery Drug Offences Impaired & Dangerous Driving Sex Offences Failure to Comply Breach of Probation Destruction of Fingerprints Destruction of Photographs Pardons Sex Offences Notarizing Documents Commissioning Documents Youth Criminal Justice Act