A sentence for a criminal conviction can result in a variety of consequences.
In addition to a custodial sentence (jail), a conditional sentence (house arrest), a period of probation, or a fine could be imposed. However, other consequences of the conviction that are unique to the individual may also have a significant impact on his or her life. In 2017 the Canadian Bar Association delivered a report entitled Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions that outlined and discussed the consequences of a criminal conviction, including:
- Impeding your ability to travel;
- Affecting your immigration status;
- Being subject to DNA and other orders; and
- Affecting your civil rights including:
- Jury duty;
- Voting; and
- Family related matters.
The foregoing collateral consequences, and others, have far reaching effects. The Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal reviewed one such collateral consequence in R v. Kljajic, 2017 PECA 19 (CanLII). The accused pled guilty to the indictable offence of assault with a weapon, and received, amongst other terms, a 9 month custodial sentence.
The accused was a permanent resident. Pursuant to sections 36, 44, 45, and 64 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, C. 27, a permanent resident who is convicted of an offence, and receives a custodial sentence of more than six (6) months, is inadmissible on the grounds of serious criminality and may be deported without a right of appeal. The accused was deemed inadmissible, and his matter was referred to an admissibility hearing.
The accused appealed the 9 month custodial sentence. Justice Mitchell, writing for our unanimous Court of Appeal, found that without the impact on the accused’s immigration status, the sentence was “appropriate although at the high end of the range in this province.” However, given the collateral consequences of the nine month sentence on the accused’s immigration status, and the accused’s prospects for rehabilitation, the Court of Appeal reduced the custodial sentence to 6 months less a day. This reduced sentence would allow the accused to appeal a removal order, if one was made against him, as he would no longer be inadmissible due to serious criminality, while at the same time still providing a sentence within the range of reasonable sentences for an offence with similar circumstances.
When faced with a criminal conviction, being mindful of all your circumstances will assist in obtaining the best result available in your individual case. If you are faced with a criminal charge, whether it interacts with your immigration status or has some other collateral consequence on you, one of Key Murray Law’s Criminal Law lawyers are ready to discuss your circumstances with you.
Legal information appearing in this article and elsewhere on Key Murray Law’s website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for or replace any legal or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require legal advice, you should consult directly with one of our lawyers.