INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Section 660 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that governs cases where an individual has attempted to commit an offense, but the complete commission of the act could not be established. In such cases, the accused can be charged and convicted of an attempt to commit the offense in question. The legislation recognizes that an attempt to commit a crime is still a serious offense and should be treated as such. An attempt to commit a crime involves planning, preparation, intent, and a demonstrable danger posed to the community. Therefore, this provision allows for the punishment of individuals who attempt to engage in illegal activities even if they do not succeed in their endeavors. The section, therefore, serves two essential purposes: firstly, it provides a means of holding individuals accountable for their actions when they attempt to commit criminal acts. Secondly, it serves as a deterrent to others who may be contemplating the commission of a crime. Knowing that the law will punish individuals for their attempts to commit crimes is likely to prevent many people from carrying out these acts in the first place. In summary, section 660 of the Criminal Code of Canada stands as a key provision for ensuring public safety by preventing individuals from attempting to commit crimes. It also communicates a clear message that the law will not tolerate any action that poses a threat to individuals and the community as a whole. By providing a legal framework to deal with such scenarios, this law has played a significant role in ensuring the safety and security of Canadians.
Section 660 of the Canadian Criminal Code provides a legal avenue for the prosecution of cases where a defendant has attempted to commit a criminal offence, but the complete commission of the offense was not ultimately successful. This provision aims to deter individuals from attempting to commit criminal acts, even if they are not successful in carrying out the offense. The section defines an attempt" as when an individual makes a deliberate and intentional effort to commit an offense, but does not ultimately complete it. While an attempt falls short of criminal conduct, it is still considered a serious offence under the law, and the provision allows for conviction in such cases. In practice, the section can be particularly useful for prosecutors, as it allows them to obtain a conviction even when the evidence might not support a charge of the completed crime. For example, in cases of attempted murder where the victim is not actually harmed, it can be challenging to provide enough evidence to prove that the defendant actually intended to kill the victim. In such cases, Section 660 can be a crucial tool for prosecutors, enabling them to secure a conviction for the attempt rather than the completed crime. This can be helpful in deterring individuals from attempting to commit similar offenses in the future, as they will know that they may face prosecution and conviction even if they are not successful in carrying out the crime. However, Section 660 can also be controversial, as it raises questions about the extent to which an individual can be held accountable for their intentions. Attempting to commit a crime is often seen as less serious than actually committing the crime, as it is not possible for any harm to be caused. Therefore, some might argue that it is unfair to punish an individual for the attempt when they did not actually carry out the crime. On the other hand, opponents of this standpoint argue that an attempt can carry significant risks and potential harm. For example, if an individual tries to rob a bank but is unsuccessful, they may still have put innocent bystanders in danger or caused emotional harm to those who witnessed the attempt. In conclusion, Section 660 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a legal framework for the prosecution of cases where individuals have attempted to commit a criminal offense. While it is a crucial tool for prosecutors, it is also important to consider the ethical implications of punishing individuals for their intentions. The debate around this issue highlights the need for ongoing discussion about the proper balance between deterrence and fairness in the criminal justice system.
Section 660 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a powerful tool for prosecutors seeking to secure convictions where the evidence does not support a finding of complete commission of the offence charged. In this circumstance, prosecutors must demonstrate an attempt to commit the offence. For defence counsel, an understanding of the strategic considerations associated with this section will be invaluable when building a case. One important strategic consideration when dealing with section 660 is to recognize that the offence of attempt is a distinct legal concept from the completed offence. As such, the standard of proof required to establish an attempt is different from the standard for establishing guilt for a completed offence. While it is possible to be acquitted of a completed offence but convicted of an attempt, the reverse is not true. Thus, defence counsel must be prepared to scrutinize the evidence with a view to identifying the risk of a finding of an attempt if acquittal on the underlying offence is unlikely. Another important strategic consideration surrounding section 660 is the possibility that the charge of attempt may be laid by the prosecution in addition to the primary charge. This presents significant strategic considerations for all parties in the case. For example, for prosecutors, the decision to charge an accused with both a completed offence as well as the offence of attempt may be driven by the belief that a conviction on one of the charges is more likely than the other. A conviction on either charge represents a successful outcome, but the decision to lay both charges may give prosecutors an added measure of flexibility when making closing arguments. Defence counsel, on the other hand, must be mindful that the laying of charges of both the completed offence and the offence of attempt could increase the likelihood of a conviction on the primary charge. The jury could view the existence of both charges as indicating that the prosecution is pursuing a "belt and suspenders" strategy and that the accused is being accused of committing the same offence twice. This could lead to the inference that the prosecution is not confident in its case. A final pre-trial strategic consideration involving section 660 involves the negotiation of a plea bargain. The fact that an accused attempted to commit an offence may be starkly presented in the evidence. The defence counsel can negotiate with the prosecution, and even if you cannot negotiate a complete acquittal, you can try to avoid a conviction on the primary charge, seeking instead to plead only to the lesser offence of attempt. While pleading guilty to an attempt charge may limit the accused's legal options, it can also provide a clear and concise explanation for the accused's actions and may avoid the stigma associated with a completed offence. To sum up, dealing with section 660 of the Criminal Code of Canada requires an understanding of the law and its implications for prosecutors as well as defence counsel. As with any legal proceeding, the prosecution and defence counsel must carefully evaluate and strategically plan their approach, but the refusal to be aware of potential strategies for both sides and confronting them head-on risks a less than optimal outcome.