Law eliminates house arrest for violent crimes

Amendments which will eliminate conditional sentences for serious and violent crimes came into force on November 20.

Amendments which will eliminate conditional sentences for serious and violent crimes, the final component of the Safe Streets and Communities Act, came into force on November 20, 2012.

The new amendments makes it so that house arrest should not be available for offenders of serious crimes like sexual assault, kidnapping, and human trafficking.

The Criminal Code outlines the circumstances when a conditional sentence can be imposed. The amendments in this component of Safe Streets and Communities Act maintain these conditions and expand the list describing when a conditional sentence is not available, including:

Any offence for which the law prescribes a  maximum penalty of 14 years or life imprisonment;

Any offence prosecuted by indictment and for which the law prescribes a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment that results in bodily harm, involves the import/export, trafficking or production of drugs or involves the use of a weapon; and,

A listed offence prosecuted by indictment and for which the law prescribes a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment – which means that crimes such as theft over $5,000, breaking and entering, and theft of a motor vehicle are now included on the list of indictable offences ineligible for a conditional sentence.