section 509(5)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section allows a summons to require the accused to appear for the purpose of identification if they are alleged to have committed an indictable offence and the offence is not designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act with an election made by the Attorney General.

SECTION WORDING

509(5) A summons may require the accused to appear at a time and place stated in it for the purposes of the Identification of Criminals Act, where the accused is alleged to have committed an indictable offence and, in the case of an offence designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act, the Attorney General, within the meaning of that Act, has not made an election under section 50 of that Act.

EXPLANATION

Section 509(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that pertains to the issuance of a summons for the purpose of the Identification of Criminals Act. The provision is used in cases where an individual is accused of having committed an indictable offence, but the alleged offence is designated as a contravention under the Contraventions Act and the Attorney General, within the meaning of that Act, has not elected to proceed via summary conviction or indictment under section 50. In essence, this provision enables law enforcement officials to issue a summons requiring the accused to appear at a specified time and place for the purposes of identification in connection with the alleged offence. The Identification of Criminals Act is a federal law that outlines the procedures for obtaining and recording the fingerprints, photographs, and other identifying information of individuals charged with certain criminal offences. The purpose of this Act is to assist law enforcement agencies in the investigation and resolution of criminal cases. The provision is significant in that it highlights the interplay between various pieces of legislation that are relevant to the criminal justice system in Canada. It reflects the need for clear and effective tools for law enforcement officials to investigate and address criminal activity, even in cases where the alleged offence may be considered relatively minor under the Contraventions Act. Ultimately, Section 509(5) is an important part of the legal framework that supports the fair and effective administration of criminal justice in Canada.

COMMENTARY

Section 509(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides the legal framework for issuing a summons to an accused person to appear before a court for identification purposes under the Identification of Criminals Act. This section applies where an individual is alleged to have committed an indictable offence, and the Attorney General has not made an election under section 50 of the Contraventions Act. The purpose of the Identification of Criminals Act is to establish a set of procedures for taking photographs and fingerprints of a person accused or convicted of a criminal offence. This information is then kept by the RCMP to assist in investigations and prevent the accused from assuming a false identity in future offences. The Act is designed to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences and to maintain public safety. Under section 509(5), the court has the authority to issue a summons to the accused to appear before the court for the express purpose of taking their fingerprints and photographs. This provision is particularly relevant in cases where identification is a key issue in the case, or where there is a concern that the accused may attempt to avoid prosecution by assuming a false identity. It is essential to note that section 509(5) is only applicable to indictable offences. Indictable offences are more serious crimes that carry a higher maximum penalty, such as murder or sexual assault. In contrast, summary offences, such as traffic violations or minor theft, are less serious and are typically dealt with in the lower courts. Accordingly, section 509(5) does not apply to persons accused of summary offences. In cases where the alleged offence is a contravention under the Contraventions Act, section 50 of that Act gives the Attorney General the discretion to decide whether the offence should be prosecuted as a contravention or as an indictable offence. If the Attorney General elects to proceed under the Contraventions Act, section 509(5) does not apply. Section 509(5) is a necessary provision in criminal procedure as it enables law enforcement agencies to obtain the necessary records for identification purposes to locate and identify suspects accurately. This provision helps law enforcement in their duties of preserving public safety and investigating crimes. In conclusion, section 509(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada allows courts to issue a summons to an individual accused of an indictable offence to appear before the court for the purpose of taking fingerprints and photographs. This provision is intended to assist in investigations and maintaining public safety. However, it is essential to note that this provision only applies to indictable offences and does not apply where the Attorney General has elected to proceed under section 50 of the Contraventions Act.

STRATEGY

When dealing with section 509(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that must be taken into account. One of the primary considerations is the potential impact that the Identification of Criminals Act could have on the accused. This Act allows police officers to take photographs and fingerprints of individuals who have been charged with or convicted of criminal offences. This information is then stored in a national database, which can be used for future investigations. One strategy that can be employed when dealing with section 509(5) is to fight against the issuance of a summons that requires the accused to appear for the Identification of Criminals Act. This can be done by arguing that the Act is unconstitutional, or by challenging the summons on grounds of procedural fairness. For example, it may be argued that the accused was not given sufficient notice of the summons or that the summons was issued in bad faith. Another strategy is to negotiate a plea agreement that avoids the use of the Identification of Criminals Act altogether. This can be particularly important in cases where the accused has no prior criminal record, as the Act's provisions could have a significant impact on their future employment and travel prospects. Alternatively, if the Crown elects to proceed by way of summary conviction (i.e. treating the offence as a lesser offence that does not carry a prison sentence), then the Identification of Criminals Act would not apply. This could be a strategic option for the accused, but it would require the Crown's agreement. In addition, the accused may choose to seek a publication ban on any information about the charges, including their name and photograph. This can help to reduce the potential impact of the charges on the accused's reputation and future prospects. Lastly, the accused may consider retaining legal counsel who are experienced in dealing with these types of issues, as they are likely better equipped to navigate the complexities of the Criminal Code and the Identification of Criminals Act. Ultimately, when dealing with section 509(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada, it is important to consider the potential impact of the Identification of Criminals Act on the accused's future prospects, and to explore all available strategies for minimizing that impact.