Murder Lawyer In Toronto
Murder related offences represent the most serious offences in the Criminal Code of Canada: http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/rsc-1985-c-c-46/latest/rsc-1985-c-c-46.html. This area of law is extremely complex and what follows is a brief summary of the law. While it is not, and should not be relied upon as legal advice, it may assist you with some of the questions you might have. As always, consult a criminal lawyer should you need criminal advice.
222(1) Everyone commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being.
222(2) Homicide is culpable or not culpable.
222(3) Homicide that is not culpable is not an offence.
222(4) Culpable homicide is murder or manslaughter or infanticide.
222(5) A person commits culpable homicide when he causes the death of a human being,
(a) by means of an unlawful act
(b) by criminal negligence
(c) by causing that human being, by threats or fear of violence or by deception, to do anything that causes his death; or
(d) by wilfully frightening that human being, in the case of a child or sick person.
229. Culpable homicide is murder
(a) where the person who causes the death of a human being
- means to cause his death, or
- means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensures or not
(b) where a person, meaning to cause death to a human being or meaning to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and being reckless whether death ensures or not, by accident or mistake causes death to another human being, notwithstanding that he does not mean to cause death or bodily harm to that human being; or
(c) where a person, for an unlawful object, does anything that he knows or ought to know is likely to cause death, and thereby causes death to a human being, notwithstanding that he desires to effect his object without causing death or bodily harm to any human being.
231 (1) Murder is first degree murder or second degree murder.
231(2) Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.
231(7) All murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder.
232(1) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.
234 Culpable homicide that is not murder or infanticide is manslaughter.
235(1) Every one who commits first degree murder or second degree murder is guilty of an indictable offence and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life.
The Offence of Murder
To find you guilty of second degree murder, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant caused someone’s death, (b) the defendant caused the death unlawfully, and (c) the defendant had the state of mind for murder. It is not necessarily a crime to cause another person’s death and the Crown must prove that the death was caused by an unlawful act. For an unlawful killing to be murder, the Crown must prove that the defendant meant to kill the victim or meant to cause bodily harm that he/she knew was likely to kill the victim and was reckless whether the victim died or not. If the Crown can show the murder was “planned and deliberate”, this would constitute first degree murder.
To prove the offence of Attempt Murder, the Crown must prove that: (a) the defendant’s conduct was an attempt, (b) that the defendant meant to kill the complainant, and (c) that the complainant did not die from anything that the defendant did.
Accessory After the Fact to Murder
To find someone guilty of Accessory After the Fact to Murder, the Crown must prove that: (a) a person committed murder, (b) that the defendant knew that this person committed murder, (c) the defendant provided assistance to this person, and, (d) the defendant provided assistance for the purpose of helping this person to escape. To provide assistance to an individual means simply, to help them and in regard to this offence, the Crown must show that the defendant assisted the person to escape the legal consequences of what the person had done.
There are numerous ways to defend against Murder related offences. Please refer to my Recent Successes page to see examples of these types of cases on which I have been counsel. As you are surely aware, the consequences to receiving a conviction for a Murder related offence is severe and can be life imprisonment.
Again, the foregoing is only a summary. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. For a free consultation to discuss your case, please call me at 416-658-5855.