Find out about adult sentencing

  • What does a judge consider when deciding on a sentence?
  • Find out about the 9 types of sentencing
  • What are court-supervision conditions?
  • Words used in sentencing and probation

If a person is found guilty of a crime, the court will give them a sentence. The judge hearing the case will decide what the sentence will be.

  1. What does a judge consider when deciding on a sentence?
    • The circumstances of the crime
    • The offender’s criminal record and personal history
    • The impact of the crime on the victim outlined in the victim impact statement
    • Maximum and minimum penalties for the crime
    • Decisions of other courts in similar cases
    • Sentencing reports from Offender Supervision and Services, and any counsellors, psychologists or other mental health professionals
    • If the person is Indigenous, a Gladue report detailing the offender’s background with recommendations for sentencing.

    What is a pre-sentence report?

    Before sentencing, the court can ask Yukon Community Corrections to prepare a pre-sentence report. It will have information about:

    • the offender; and
    • the case.

    A pre-sentence report may include information about the client's:

    • age;
    • maturity;
    • character;
    • attitude;
    • behaviour;
    • willingness to make up for the harm done;
    • plans to change behaviour;
    • plans to become a law-abiding member of the community;
    • previous history of criminal activity;
    • access to community services, such as counselling and their willingness to participate;
    • family supports;
    • education; and
    • job.

    The report:

    • is property of the court; and
    • will be shared with the crown lawyer and the offender’s lawyer.
  2. Find out about the 9 types of sentencing

    The judge can order many different types of sentences, including:

    Absolute discharge

    When a person is:

    • found guilty; or 
    • pleads guilty; and
    • the judge decides not to sentence the person.

    The person won't have a criminal record.

    Conditional discharge

    When a person:

    • is found guilty; or
    • pleads guilty.

    The judge decides the person will not have a criminal record if they successfully complete specific conditions.

    If a person is found guilty of impaired driving, a judge may place the person on probation. They will have to follow strict conditions to:

    • complete a treatment program; and 
    • not drink or use drugs.

    The person won't have a criminal record if they:

    • complete the treatment program; and
    • follow their conditions.

    Suspended sentences

    When a person pleads or is found guilty, but the judge decides to withhold the sentence. The judge may decide to suspend the sentence conditionally or unconditionally. There are 2 types of suspended sentences.

    Suspended unconditionally

    The offender will never have to serve the sentence for the offence committed.

    Suspended conditionally

    The person must be on good behaviour. If not, they will have to serve the sentence.

    Fine

    The court orders someone convicted of a crime to pay a sum for all or part of their sentence. 

    How to pay a fine?

    You can pay a fine through the fine-options program. To set up a payment plan, phone 867-667-5231.

    Conditional sentence

    • A jail sentence served by the client in the community.
    • The client remains in the community under supervision and has to follow strict rules (conditions).
    • If the client disobeys the conditions:
      • the probation officer must report the breach to the court; and
      • a judge can order the offender to serve the rest of their sentence in jail.

    Probation order

    • This is a sentence or a part of a sentence that is served in the community.
    • The court may order a period of probation alone, or a period of probation after a prison sentence.
    • The client must follow the conditions identified in their probation order or face serious consequences.

    Intermittent sentence

    An offender serves their sentence:

    • in prison on the weekends; and
    • in the community on probation during the week.

    Custody

    An offender sentenced to custody for:

    • less than 2 years will go the Whitehorse Correctional Centre; or
    • more than 2 years will serve their sentence in a federal prison in another province.
  3. What are court-supervision conditions?

    When an offender is under supervision the court will often order them to follow certain conditions. Offenders face serious consequences if they do not follow their conditions.

    Conditions can include:

    • good behaviour;
    • appearing in court when required;
    • reporting to a probation officer;
    • remaining in a specific city, territory or province;
    • curfew;
    • participating in programming or treatment;
    • not drinking alcohol or taking drugs;
    • no contact with certain people or places; and
    • not using or possessing either guns or weapons.
  4. Words used in sentencing and probation

    Bail

    • A court order while the accused is awaiting trial.
    • The accused must obey certain conditions (rules) and return to court on a specific date.
    • In some cases, there may be a money deposit or a bail surety.

    Find out about bail hearings.

    810 recognizance (peace bond)

    The court may order a recognizance (commonly referred to as a peace bond) for up to:

    • 12 months; except
    • in rare cases where it can go up to 24 months.

    Parole

    This is the conditional early release of an offender who is serving a term of imprisonment. In certain circumstances, persons serving a jail term at Whitehorse Correctional Centre are still eligible. When an offender is on parole they must follow certain rules (conditions). Parole services are run by the federal government.

     

    For information on parole, phone Correctional Services of Canada 250-363-3267, or visit the National Parole Board website.

    Emergency intervention order

    • This is used to remove an abusive person from the home.
    • The person must not have contact with certain people.
    • The person must not go to certain places.
    • If the person breaches the conditions they can be charged with an offense.

Contact 

For questions about sentencing, email Tyler.Murray@gov.yk.ca, or phone 867-455-2900, toll-free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408 extension 2900.