Adult criminal court statistics in Canada, 2013/2014: highlights

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  • In 2013/2014, there were more than 360,000 cases completed in adult criminal court, which represented a 7% decrease in the number of cases from the previous year.
  • The number of completed cases declined in most provinces/territories in 2013/2014. Quebec (-15%), British Columbia (-9%) and Prince Edward Island (-8%) reported the largest year-over-year decreases in the number of completed cases. In contrast, Yukon experienced an increase (+6%) in the number of completed cases, while completed cases in Manitoba and Alberta remained relatively stable.
  • Most adult criminal court cases in 2013/2014 involved non-violent crime, representing 76% of all completed cases. Impaired driving continued to represent the largest proportion of all completed cases, at 11%. This was closely followed by cases involving theft (10%) and failure to comply with a court order (10%).
  • Property crime court cases decreased by 7%, with the largest declines occurring within break and enter (-12%) and other property offences (-11%) cases. Cases involving administration of justice offences decreased by 4% in 2013/2014.
  • There were 7% fewer violent crime cases in 2013/2014. Cases involving robbery (-15%), uttering threats (-10%), and other violent offences (-10%) had the largest year-over-year declines.
  • Persons under the age of 35 represented almost 60% of all accused persons appearing in adult criminal court in 2013/2014.
  • Similar to previous years, 63% of all cases completed in adult criminal court resulted in a finding of guilt. Guilty findings varied by province and territory, with Prince Edward Island reporting the highest proportion of guilty cases (78%), and Ontario reporting the lowest (55%).
  • Probation was the most common type of sentence imposed in adult criminal court in 2013/2014, at 43% of all guilty cases. The median length of probation was 365 days.
  • Custody was the second most frequently imposed sentence in 2013/2014. Slightly more than one third (36%) of all guilty cases received a custodial sentence. Prince Edward Island had the highest proportion of guilty cases with a sentence of custody, at 62%.
  • Most custodial sentences had a length of less than six months in 2013/2014. The median length of custody was 30 days. Only 3% of custody cases received a sentence of two years or more.
  • The median length of time taken to complete a case in adult criminal court in 2013/2014 was 123 days, which was an increase of three days from the previous year.
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