Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2017-11-06 and last amended on 2017-10-18. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Pleas permitted
  •  (1) An accused who is called on to plead may plead guilty or not guilty, or the special pleas authorized by this Part and no others.

  • Marginal note:Conditions for accepting guilty plea

    (1.1) A court may accept a plea of guilty only if it is satisfied that the accused

    • (a) is making the plea voluntarily; and

    • (b) understands

      • (i) that the plea is an admission of the essential elements of the offence,

      • (ii) the nature and consequences of the plea, and

      • (iii) that the court is not bound by any agreement made between the accused and the prosecutor.

  • Marginal note:Validity of plea

    (1.2) The failure of the court to fully inquire whether the conditions set out in subsection (1.1) are met does not affect the validity of the plea.

  • Marginal note:Refusal to plead

    (2) Where an accused refuses to plead or does not answer directly, the court shall order the clerk of the court to enter a plea of not guilty.

  • Marginal note:Allowing time

    (3) An accused is not entitled as of right to have his trial postponed but the court may, if it considers that the accused should be allowed further time to plead, move to quash or prepare for his defence or for any other reason, adjourn the trial to a later time in the session or sittings of the court, or to the next of any subsequent session or sittings of the court, on such terms as the court considers proper.

  • Marginal note:Included or other offence

    (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, where an accused or defendant pleads not guilty of the offence charged but guilty of any other offence arising out of the same transaction, whether or not it is an included offence, the court may, with the consent of the prosecutor, accept that plea of guilty and, if the plea is accepted, the court shall find the accused or defendant not guilty of the offence charged and find him guilty of the offence in respect of which the plea of guilty was accepted and enter those findings in the record of the court.

  • Marginal note:Inquiry of court — murder and serious personal injury offences

    (4.1) If the accused is charged with a serious personal injury offence, as that expression is defined in section 752, or with the offence of murder, and the accused and the prosecutor have entered into an agreement under which the accused will enter a plea of guilty of the offence charged — or a plea of not guilty of the offence charged but guilty of any other offence arising out of the same transaction, whether or not it is an included offence — the court shall, after accepting the plea of guilty, inquire of the prosecutor if reasonable steps were taken to inform the victims of the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Inquiry of court — certain indictable offences

    (4.2) If the accused is charged with an offence, as defined in section 2 of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, that is an indictable offence for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more, and that is not an offence referred to in subsection (4.1), and the accused and the prosecutor have entered into an agreement referred to in subsection (4.1), the court shall, after accepting the plea of guilty, inquire of the prosecutor whether any of the victims had advised the prosecutor of their desire to be informed if such an agreement were entered into, and, if so, whether reasonable steps were taken to inform that victim of the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Duty to inform

    (4.3) If subsection (4.1) or (4.2) applies, and any victim was not informed of the agreement before the plea of guilty was accepted, the prosecutor shall, as soon as feasible, take reasonable steps to inform the victim of the agreement and the acceptance of the plea.

  • Marginal note:Validity of plea

    (4.4) Neither the failure of the court to inquire of the prosecutor, nor the failure of the prosecutor to take reasonable steps to inform the victims of the agreement, affects the validity of the plea.

  • Marginal note:Video links

    (5) For greater certainty, subsections 650(1.1) and (1.2) apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to pleas under this section if the accused has agreed to use a means referred to in those subsections.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 606;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 125;
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 49;
  • 2015, c. 13, s. 21.
Date modified: