section 57(3)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Possession of a forged or illegally obtained passport is an indictable offence with a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

SECTION WORDING

57(3) Every one who without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, has in his possession a forged passport or a passport in respect of which an offence under subsection (2) has been committed is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

EXPLANATION

Section 57(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the possession of a forged passport or a passport that has been obtained through an offense. The section criminalizes the act of having such a passport without lawful excuse, which means that the person who possesses it must be able to prove that they have a legitimate reason for having it. The maximum penalty for possession of a forged passport or one obtained through an offense is five years in prison, and the offense is considered indictable. An indictable offense is an offense that is considered serious enough for a trial by a judge and jury. This section of the Criminal Code of Canada is aimed at preventing fraudulent activities related to passports, which are valuable travel documents that are used for identification and border crossing. The possession of a forged passport or one obtained through criminal means can facilitate various types of criminal activities, including smuggling, human trafficking, and terrorism. The section also references subsection (2), which deals with offenses related to the procurement and use of false passports. This subsection makes it an offense to make, use, or possess a forged passport or to participate in any way in such activities. Overall, section 57(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of passport systems and preventing criminal activities associated with fraudulent passports. It sends a strong message that such activities will not be tolerated and will result in serious consequences for those who engage in them.

COMMENTARY

Section 57(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada criminalizes the possession of a forged passport or one that has been obtained unlawfully. This offense is considered to be an indictable offense and can lead to a maximum sentence of up to five years of imprisonment. The section also stipulates that the burden of proving the possession of a lawful excuse lies on the accused. The possession of a forged passport is a serious crime as it can be used to facilitate various criminal activities. A forged passport could allow individuals to evade immigration controls, cross borders and enter or leave a country illegally. Additionally, the falsification of passport stamps might enable individuals to engage in activities such as drug trafficking, human smuggling or money laundering. The criminalization of passport offences is essential in the fight against transnational crime such as terrorism, organized crimes, and drug trafficking. The possession of a forged passport can allow an individual to assume a false identity, making it difficult for law enforcement authorities to track them down, and to prevent them from engaging in criminal activities. This offense is, therefore, instrumental in protecting national security and public safety. The Criminal Code of Canada defines a passport as a document issued by or under the authority of the government of Canada or any other country, which certifies the identity, nationality, and/or other relevant information about the holder. This definition is critical as it clarifies that any document that is not issued by a government or its authorized agency is not considered a passport. To prove a charge of passport offenses under section 57(3), it is mandatory for the prosecutor to show that the accused was in possession of the passport and that the document was either forged or acquired through an offense under subsection (2) of this section. The burden of proof for the possession of a lawful excuse rests with the accused, requiring them to justify the possession was a lawful act. A person could have a lawful excuse for possessing a forged passport if they needed the passport for a certain purpose such as a movie prop, or for historical or educational purposes. In this event, it is essential for the accused to provide concrete evidence showing proof that the passport has not been used for any illegal purposes. In conclusion, section 57(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is crucial in securing national borders and preventing the criminal activities associated with the use of falsified passports. The offense ensures that individuals do not engage in fraudulent activities that may put public safety at risk. Legal professionals and law enforcement authorities must have a clear understanding of the elements of the offense, the burden of proof, and the available lawful excuses to determine whether an accused is guilty of the crime.

STRATEGY

Dealing with Section 57(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires an understanding of the legal aspects involved in the possession of forged passports or passports obtained through illegal means. This provision is in place to ensure that individuals do not use fake or fraudulently obtained passports to travel across international borders. Therefore, any strategy used in dealing with this Code must be based on legal and ethical considerations. One key consideration when dealing with Section 57(3) is the burden of proof. The law places the burden of proof on the accused to prove that they have a lawful excuse for possessing a forged passport or a passport obtained through illegal means. This means that any strategy used in dealing with this Code must take into account the need for the accused to provide a credible explanation for their possession of the passport. Another important consideration in dealing with this Code is the severity of the penalties involved in committing an indictable offense under Section 57(3) of the Criminal Code. If convicted, an individual may face imprisonment for a term of up to five years. Therefore, any strategy used in dealing with this Code must take into account the severity of the penalties involved and seek to minimize any potential negative outcomes. Some strategies that could be employed when dealing with Section 57(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada include: 1. Seeking legal advice: One of the most effective strategies for dealing with this Code is to seek legal advice from a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Such a lawyer would provide guidance on how to present a lawful excuse and strengthen the accused's case. 2. Providing evidence of lawful excuse: To avoid conviction under this Code, the accused must provide proof of a lawful excuse for possessing a forged or illegally obtained passport. Evidence that could support a lawful excuse could include a reasonable explanation for possessing the passport, such as a genuine mistake or lack of knowledge of its origin. 3. Plea bargaining: When faced with a strong case against them, the accused may consider plea bargaining to reduce the severity of the penalties they may face. This could involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. 4. Contesting the charge: If there is insufficient evidence to support the charge, the accused may decide to contest it in court. This could involve challenging the prosecution's evidence or calling witnesses to support their case. In conclusion, dealing with Section 57(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires careful consideration of legal and ethical aspects. Strategies used must be based on the need to provide a lawful excuse for possessing a forged or illegally obtained passport while minimizing the potential negative outcomes of a conviction. Seeking legal advice, providing evidence of lawful excuse, plea bargaining and contesting the charge are all strategies that could be employed when dealing with this Code.

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