Pleading to Provincial Offences Under s. 606(4)

  • January 13, 2019
  • Benjamin Janzen, Assistant Crown Attorney

Every day, in courthouses across the country, people appear in provincial plea courts to resolve their criminal charges by way of a guilty plea. While these courts also provide case management and vary in method and liturgy, the gist of plea court remains the same: it is a forum where people can acknowledge guilt, make amends, accept the consequences and move on with their lives. As a newbie in plea court, I learned a few things about pleading to provincial offences under s. 606(4) I thought worth sharing.  

In brief:

  1. Whether “any other offence” includes provincial offences is unsettled in Ontario;
  2. There is no disadvantage to proceeding under 606(4) in this manner;
  3. A plea that is not accepted under 606(4) is an admission against interest;
  4. 606(4) does not transform indictable proceedings into summary conviction proceedings for the purposes of (i) limitation periods or (ii) appeals.