section 371

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

It is an indictable offense to send a message claiming to be from someone else with the intent to defraud and have it acted upon as being from that person.

SECTION WORDING

371 Every one who, with intent to defraud, causes or procures a telegram, cablegram or radio message to be sent or delivered as being sent by the authority of another person, knowing that it is not sent by his authority and with intent that the message should be acted on as being sent by his authority, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

EXPLANATION

Section 371 of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the criminal offence of fraudulently causing or procuring a telegram, cablegram or radio message to be sent or delivered as though it were sent by another person's authority. The offence is committed when an individual knowingly and intentionally causes or facilitates the transmission of such a message with the objective of deceiving someone into believing that it was sent by the purported authority. The communication can be in any form such as electronic, telephonic, or written message, but for a charge to be made, the transmission must have been fraudulently induced, with the intent to deceive. The punishment for individuals found guilty of committing this criminal offence is an indictable offence, and they are liable to imprisonment for a maximum term of five years. This section aims to protect individuals and organizations from being defrauded through fraudulent communications induced by deceivers. The objective of this law is to prevent the fraudulent use of communications media for unlawful purposes. In summary, section 371 of the Canadian Criminal Code is in place to deter and prevent fraudulent activity involving the transmission of messages, and it is intended to serve as a deterrent to individuals carrying out this type of fraudulent activity, while also providing for the protection and safety of individuals and organizations.

COMMENTARY

Section 371 of the Criminal Code of Canada criminalizes a very specific form of fraud- the act of causing or procuring a telegram, cablegram or radio message to be sent or delivered as being sent by the authority of another person, with the intent to defraud. The provision is aimed at punishing those who misrepresent themselves by sending messages that appear to be sent by someone else, with the intention that the message is acted upon as if it were sent by the actual sender. This provision is designed to protect individuals from fraudulent activities that may cause them to suffer financial or other material loss. It provides that anyone who knowingly sends a message with the intent to defraud, and impersonates someone else, is guilty of an indictable offence. This applies not only to the sender of the message but also to anyone who procures the message to be sent. The offence must be committed with the intent to defraud. This means that the person must have intended to deceive the recipient of the message into thinking that it was sent by someone else in order to benefit or gain in some way. The person must also have known that the message was not being sent with the authority of the person they were impersonating. Finally, the person must have intended for the message to be acted upon as if it were sent by the actual sender. The punishment for an individual convicted under this provision is imprisonment for a term of up to five years, which reflects the seriousness of the offence. It underlines the fact that fraud is a serious crime that infringes upon the rights of others and undermines the rule of law. Overall, this section of the Criminal Code of Canada is important in combating fraudulent activities. It ensures that individuals who impersonate others to gain an unfair advantage or cause harm to others will be held criminally responsible for their actions. By criminalizing this type of behaviour, the law seeks to deter others from engaging in similar activities that may harm individuals or organizations attempting to communicate with each other. This approach helps to promote trust and reliability in the telecommunications industry.

STRATEGY

When dealing with Section 371 of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that need to be taken into account. One of the most important factors to consider is the intent of the accused. In order for someone to be charged and convicted under this section of the Criminal Code, they must have had the intention to defraud another person. This means that the Crown will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intended to deceive someone else and cause them harm. Another important factor to consider is the type of communication in question. This section of the Criminal Code specifically deals with telegrams, cablegrams, and radio messages. This means that other forms of communication, such as email or text messages, do not fall under this section. As a result, if the evidence presented by the Crown is based solely on these other types of communication, it may be harder to secure a conviction. When considering the potential defences that can be employed, it is important to note that ignorance of the law is not a defence. This means that if an accused claims that they did not know that their actions were illegal, this will not be a valid defence. Instead, it may be more effective to argue that they did not have the intent to defraud or that they were acting under duress. One strategy that can be employed in such a case is to argue that there was no actual harm caused. This could involve demonstrating that the intended recipient of the communication did not act on it or that they were not harmed as a result. Alternatively, it may be possible to argue that the accused did not actually have the ability to cause harm, such as if the intended recipient of the communication was already aware that it was not legitimate. Another strategy that could be employed is to seek a plea bargain. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it may be possible to negotiate with the Crown to secure a reduced sentence or a lesser charge in exchange for a guilty plea. This can be especially effective when the evidence against the accused is strong and a conviction seems likely. Overall, when dealing with Section 371 of the Criminal Code of Canada, it is important to approach the matter strategically. By considering the intent of the accused, the type of communication in question, and potential defences and strategies, it may be possible to secure the best possible outcome for the accused.