Criminal Code

The Criminal Code is a federal law that codifies all criminal offences subject to prosecution in Canada and specifies their corresponding sentences.

The Criminal Code in brief

The Criminal Code applies to any individual who commits a criminal offence in a Canadian province or territory.

The Highway Safety Code also addresses certain criminal offences, where they can also lead to administrative penalties. Such offences include:

Difference between the Highway Safety Code and the Criminal Code

First, the Highway Safety Code

Driving without a valid licence or registration certificate, speeding, not wearing a seat belt, driving while impaired...

All of these offences, as well as many others, are punishable under the Highway Safety Code (fines, demerit points, licence revocation or suspension, etc.).

Such offences appear on the driving record of the driver at fault.

Then, there are criminal offences that do not come directly under the Highway Safety Code

Where a serious offence is committed, such as driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, street racing or any other offence likely to endanger the life of others or cause death, the Criminal Code applies.

In some cases, a driver found guilty of a criminal offence (e.g. imprisonment, fines, criminal record) could also be punished in respect of an offence under the Highway Safety Code (e.g. licence revocation).

To consult the Criminal Code

Last update: July  5, 2022