Hybrid offences are offences where the Crown can choose ("elect") to proceed by way of an indictable offence (more serious) or a summary offence (less serious).  Many crimes in the Criminal Code are characterized as hybrid offences.

General Overview
  • Crimes are defined in very broad terms, which allows the Crown to consider the individual facts;
  • Seriousness of each incident is examined on a case-by-case basis before determining to proceed summarily or by indictment;
  • Example: sexual assault can include both unwanted touching or rape.

If an offender has a serious prior criminal record, the Crown could decide to proceed by way of indictment since there are more serious sentencing options available.

Penalty for Hybrid Offences

The penalty for hybrid offences depends ultimately on whether the Crown chooses to proceed summarily or by indictment.

Examples of Hybrid Offences
  • Impaired Driving
  • Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Posession of a Controlled Substance

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