Murder is arguably the most serious criminal offence in Canada. Murder falls into three categories – first degree murder, second degree murder, and manslaughter. Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate. All murder that is not first degree, is second degree.

First degree and second degree murder have minimum sentences of life imprisonment.


Below are some of the charges under the Criminal Code of Canada that can arise when one person causes the death of another:

  • Murder – ss. 229, 231, 234 of the Criminal Code 
    • First Degree Murder 
    • Second Degree Murde
    • Manslaughter 
  • Attempted Murder – s. 239(1)(b) of the Criminal Code 
  • Attempted Murder, Use of Restricted Firearm – s. 239(1)(a) of the Criminal Code 
  • Attempted Murder, Use of a Firearm – s. 239(1)(a.1) of the Criminal Code 
  • Manslaughter – s. 236(b) of the Criminal Code 
  • Manslaughter, Use of Firearm – s. 236(a) of the Criminal Code 
  • Accessory to Murder After the Fact – s. 240 of the Criminal Code 
  • Infanticide – s. 237 of the Criminal Code 
  • Criminal Negligence Causing Death – s. 220(b) of the Criminal Code 
  • Criminal Negligence Causing Death, Use of Firearm – s. 220(a) of the Criminal Code 
  • Counselling or Aiding Suicide – s. 241(1) of the Criminal Code 

Your Best Defence

Just because a charge like murder is serious, does not mean that you don’t have defences available to you, or that the charge can’t be plead down to a less serious charge. Proving these charges is the job of the Crown. The standard to prove these charges is high – the Crown must prove each element of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. These charges are aggressively investigated by police and the investigations are complex. The investigations can take years to complete and often involve intricate police work, such as Mr. Big Investigations, wiretaps, search warrants, surveillance, undercover police officers, jail house informants, etc.

Your defence must also be strategic, well-planned, thoughtful, and impassioned. You require a defence lawyer that will dedicate herself to your file – your file will possess thousands of pages of disclosure and will require a lawyer like me who has the skills to decipher and organize all the evidence in order to mount your strongest defence.  

No stone can be left unturned. Not one shred of evidence can be overlooked. Preparedness is your best defence. 

With charges like these, the rest of your life is on the line. The stress and hardship for you, and your loved ones, that come with these charges is enormous.

You do not have to face these charges alone. Call us now for a free consultation. It is critical that you understand the case against you and the defences that may be available to you. The decisions you make in cases like this will affect the rest of your life. Call us now so you don’t have to face the criminal justice system alone.