INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
662(1) A count in an indictment is divisible and where the commission of the offence charged, as described in the enactment creating it or as charged in the count, includes the commission of another offence, whether punishable by indictment or on summary conviction, the accused may be convicted (a) of an offence so included that is proved, notwithstanding that the whole offence that is charged is not proved; or (b) of an attempt to commit an offence so included.
Section 662(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the divisibility of a count in an indictment. This section provides for situations where the commission of an offense charged as described in the enactment creating it or as charged in the count includes the commission of another offense, whether punishable by indictment or on summary conviction. In such cases, an accused person may be convicted of the included offense if it is proved, even if the whole offense charged is not proven. This section is important because it allows for the court to consider and convict an accused person of a lesser included offense when the evidence supports it, even if the prosecution is unable to prove the full extent of the offense charged. This provision is designed to ensure that an accused person is not wrongly acquitted simply because the prosecution cannot prove every element of the offense charged. Furthermore, section 662(1) also allows for the conviction of an attempt to commit an offense included in the charge. This means that an accused person can be convicted of an offense even if they did not successfully complete the full offense but attempted to commit it. Overall, section 662(1) is an important provision in the Criminal Code of Canada as it ensures that justice can be served in situations where the full extent of the offense charged cannot be proven but a lesser included offense or an attempted offense can be proved based on the evidence presented.
Section 662(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides that a count in an indictment is divisible, which means that an accused can be convicted of only a part of the offence charged, if that part is an offence in and of itself. This section gives courts the power to convict an accused of a lesser offence or an included offence, even if the prosecution does not prove the entire offence that is charged. The purpose of this section is to ensure that an accused is not acquitted merely because the prosecution failed to prove all the essential elements of the offence charged. Instead, the accused can be convicted of an offence that is proved, included in the original charge, and is sufficiently serious to warrant criminal sanction. For example, if an accused is charged with stealing a car, but the evidence only shows that the accused entered the car without permission, the accused may be convicted of theft of the car keys. This is because theft of the keys is a lesser and included offence of stealing the car. Another example would be if an accused is charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm, but the evidence only shows that the accused was driving erratically. In this case, the accused may be convicted of the lesser offence of careless driving, which is included in the offence of dangerous driving. Section 662(1) further provides that an accused can be convicted of an attempt to commit an included offence. This means that if the prosecution fails to prove all the elements of the offence charged, but the evidence shows that the accused attempted to commit an included offence, they can be convicted of that offence. For instance, if an accused is charged with murder, but the evidence only shows that they attempted to commit murder, they can be convicted of attempted murder. Attempted murder is an included offence of murder and is punishable by a lesser sentence. Section 662(1) has important implications for criminal trials, as it gives courts the authority to convict an accused of a lesser offence if there is evidence to support it. This provision allows for a more efficient and fair judicial process, as it ensures that an accused is not acquitted merely because the full offence was not proven, but is still held accountable for their actions. However, the use of this section must be balanced with the interests of justice. While it is important to ensure that an accused is not acquitted on a technicality, it is equally important to ensure that they are not convicted of a lesser offence if the evidence does not support it. Therefore, courts must carefully consider the evidence before convicting an accused of a lesser or included offence. In conclusion, Section 662(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides courts with the discretion to convict an accused of a lesser or included offence if the evidence supports it. This provision ensures that an accused is held accountable for their actions, even if the offence charged is not fully proven. However, courts must exercise caution in using this section, as the interests of justice must always be upheld.
Section 662(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision in criminal law as it allows for a count in an indictment to be divided into separate offences. This provides some leeway for the prosecutor to obtain convictions on at least some of the counts in the indictment in cases where a defendant is not found guilty of the entire offence charged. There are several strategic considerations that may be taken into account when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, including the following: 1. Choosing the appropriate charge: One of the first strategic considerations is to choose the appropriate charge to bring against the accused. This may involve selecting a charge that includes other offences as the alternatives that may be pursued through a conviction under section 662(1) of the Criminal Code. For example, if the offence charged is an aggravated assault, under section 662(1) of the Criminal Code, the accused could also be charged with lesser offences that would be included in the offence of aggravated assault. 2. Building a cohesive case: Building a cohesive case entails building a case against the whole offence charged as well as the potential included offences. As the accused may be convicted of an included offence, such as a lesser offence that is part of the offence charged, it is crucial to have a strong case against each potential included offence. Making sure that the case is cohesive also means anticipating the defence's strategies and dealing with them head-on. 3. Crafting the indictment: The indictment should be crafted to include all the possible included offences that could be proved. Therefore, it is important to have a detailed understanding of the criminal code and the offences that can be included in the main charge. When crafting the indictment, the prosecutor must also be mindful of how to present the included offence in a way that it does not prejudice to the accused's case. 4. Choosing the right trial venue: Choosing the right venue could also be a strategic consideration in dealing with section 662(1) of the Criminal Code. This is because where the offence is tried may impact the range of penalties that could be imposed. For example, trying the included offences in a summary conviction court with less stringent penalty scheme may result in much lesser sentencing for the accused if they are convicted. 5. Managing the evidence: Managing the evidence is a critical consideration when dealing with 662(1). Given that the prosecutor must be ready to prove each included offence to obtain a conviction, the evidence needs to be impactful, compelling and tight for each offence, not solely for the main offence. The prosecutor must be careful not to cloud the evidence for each offence to avoid confusion and convolution of the trial. Overall, section 662(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada can bring nuances into criminal trials. The prosecutor must be strategic in how they approach an overall charge while looking to secure convictions on included offences that were part of the charge. Doing so involves a well-crafted trial strategy, a deeper understanding of the indictment, and an appreciation of the range of penalties. With these strategic considerations considered, the prosecutor can build a tight and compelling case, leading to convictions where possible.