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Criminal Code

Version of section 718.3 from 2019-09-19 to 2020-10-05:


Marginal note:Degrees of punishment

  •  (1) Where an enactment prescribes different degrees or kinds of punishment in respect of an offence, the punishment to be imposed is, subject to the limitations prescribed in the enactment, in the discretion of the court that convicts a person who commits the offence.

  • Marginal note:Discretion respecting punishment

    (2) Where an enactment prescribes a punishment in respect of an offence, the punishment to be imposed is, subject to the limitations prescribed in the enactment, in the discretion of the court that convicts a person who commits the offence, but no punishment is a minimum punishment unless it is declared to be a minimum punishment.

  • Marginal note:Imprisonment in default where term not specified

    (3) Where an accused is convicted of an offence punishable with both fine and imprisonment and a term of imprisonment in default of payment of the fine is not specified in the enactment that prescribes the punishment to be imposed, the imprisonment that may be imposed in default of payment shall not exceed the term of imprisonment that is prescribed in respect of the offence.

  • Marginal note:Cumulative punishments

    (4) The court that sentences an accused shall consider directing

    • (a) that the term of imprisonment that it imposes be served consecutively to a sentence of imprisonment to which the accused is subject at the time of sentencing; and

    • (b) that the terms of imprisonment that it imposes at the same time for more than one offence be served consecutively, including when

      • (i) the offences do not arise out of the same event or series of events,

      • (ii) one of the offences was committed while the accused was on judicial interim release, including pending the determination of an appeal, or

      • (iii) one of the offences was committed while the accused was fleeing from a peace officer.

  • Marginal note:Cumulative punishments — fines

    (5) For the purposes of subsection (4), a term of imprisonment includes imprisonment that results from the operation of subsection 734(4).

  • Marginal note:Cumulative punishments — youth

    (6) For the purposes of subsection (4), a sentence of imprisonment includes

    • (a) a disposition made under paragraph 20(1)(k) or (k.1) of the Young Offenders Act, chapter Y-1 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985;

    • (b) a youth sentence imposed under paragraph 42(2)(n), (o), (q) or (r) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act; and

    • (c) a sentence that results from the operation of subsection 743.5(1) or (2).

  • Marginal note:Cumulative punishments — sexual offences against children

    (7) When a court sentences an accused at the same time for more than one sexual offence committed against a child, the court shall direct

    • (a) that a sentence of imprisonment it imposes for an offence under section 163.1 be served consecutively to a sentence of imprisonment it imposes for a sexual offence under another section of this Act committed against a child; and

    • (b) that a sentence of imprisonment it imposes for a sexual offence committed against a child, other than an offence under section 163.1, be served consecutively to a sentence of imprisonment it imposes for a sexual offence committed against another child other than an offence under section 163.1.

  • Marginal note:Maximum penalty — intimate partner

    (8) If an accused is convicted of an indictable offence in the commission of which violence was used, threatened or attempted against an intimate partner and the accused has been previously convicted of an offence in the commission of which violence was used, threatened or attempted against an intimate partner, the court may impose a term of imprisonment that is more than the maximum term of imprisonment provided for that offence but not more than

    • (a) five years, if the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence is two years or more but less than five years;

    • (b) 10 years, if the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence is five years or more but less than 10 years;

    • (c) 14 years, if the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence is 10 years or more but less than 14 years; or

    • (d) life, if the maximum term of imprisonment for the offence is 14 years or more and up to imprisonment for life.

  • 1995, c. 22, s. 6
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 141
  • 2002, c. 1, s. 182
  • 2015, c. 23, s. 17
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 294
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