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General Reference

What is a Hybrid Offence in Canada?

When someone is charged with a criminal offence in Canada, they are either charged with a summary offence, indictable offence or hybrid offence. They are separated by the severity of the crime committed, and the consequences for either vary based on the offence. Summary offences are for less serious crimes, while indictment offences are for more serious crimes. Hybrid offences are the offences that can fall under both summary or indictment. Throughout this article, we are going to give examples of what is considered a hybrid offence.


Types of Offences 

To better understand what hybrid offences are, you first have to understand the two offences that overlap to create them. 


Summary Offences

Summary offences are a less serious type of offence. Some examples of them would be theft under $5,000, possession of narcotics and disturbing the peace. When charged with a summary offence, you do not have a preliminary hearing, and your trial is held in the Ontario Court of Justice with a judge and no jury. 


Indictable Offences

Indictable offences are more serious types of offences. Examples of indictable offences are murder, acts of terrorism and break and enter. If you have been charged with an indictable offence, depending on the charge, you will have the right to select a trial by judge and a jury and which court your trial will be held in. When on trial for an indictable offence you will be required to have a lawyer represent you.   


Examples of Hybrid Offences

Hybrid offences fall between a summary and an indictable offence. In hybrid offence cases, the prosecutor chooses whether to treat the offence as a summary or indictable offence based on the severity of the accused’s crime. For more serious crimes they will be charged with an indictable offence – if it is a less serious crime they are charged with a summary offence. Some examples of hybrid offences are: 

  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual interference 
  • Simple assault


Entering Canada with a Hybrid Offence

Most of the time, if you have committed an offence that is equivalent to a summary offence in Canada in another country you can enter Canada without too much trouble. With an offence equivalent to an indictable offence, you will be denied access until you have attained a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit or have gone through Canada’s Criminal Rehabilitation process. With an offence equivalent to a hybrid offence, it would still be considered an indictable offence and you would have to go through the same process to enter the country as you would an indictable offence. This is because a hybrid offence could still be considered indictable, even if it wasn’t as serious as an indictable offence.

Hybrid offences can be a little complex when you consider the fact that they could be considered either an indictable or summary offence. Being aware of what exactly constitutes a hybrid offence and its intricacies are necessary if you ever happen to be charged with a hybrid offence.  


Getting a pardon will remove a hybrid offence from your criminal record and allow you to live your life without restrictions.

If you already have a hybrid offence and it is affecting your day to day life; a pardon is the best solution. Contact Pardon Canada at 1 (800) 543-2137 for professional assistance and expert advice.


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Federal Pardon Waiver Services assists individuals in obtaining a Pardon (Record Suspension) by removing a past criminal offence from public record in Canada. We also help individuals obtain US Entry Waivers adn Arrest Record Purges

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