Issue 17-47: Adult Criminal Court

March 8, 2017

A total of 33,930 criminal cases appeared before adult courts in B.C. in 2014/15, down 7.7% from the previous year.

Of the cases tried in B.C. in 2014/15, 72% resulted in a guilty verdict. Individuals brought before the courts are most likely to be found guilty in Newfoundland and Labrador (77%) and New Brunswick (77%). Conversely, they are least likely to receive a guilty verdict in Ontario (54%). The provincial variation in proportion of cases resulting in a guilty finding may be due to different jurisdictional court practices.

Theft (10%) and impaired driving (10%) are the most frequent offenses completed in adult criminal court in Canada. Court cases also commonly involve charges of failure to comply with an order (10%), common assault (9%) and breach of probation (9%).

Of all Canadian adult court cases in 2014/15, 80% involved a male accused. Offences for which males had the highest involvement included sexual assault, other sexual offences, robbery, attempted murder and weapons offences. The highest representation of females was found in cases of fraud, theft, possession of stolen property and assault.

Data Source: Statistics Canada