If you are charged with a crime, you should contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Mehdi Au LLP has criminal lawyers on staff who would be happy to meet with you and discuss your case.
When you imagine a prison sentence, you likely imagine years on end with no freedom in site. The reality however in Canada is that for more minor crimes and first time offenders, shorter prison terms are very common. In fact, in some instances a sentence can be served “intermittently” or broken up into parts. Often this means serving time on weekends, however it is possible to include weekdays.
When Is An Intermittent Sentence Possible
In order for a judge to order “a sentence be served intermittently”, the sentence must: be a sentence of 90 days or less. In other words, if a sentence were 91 days in length it must be served consecutively (in a row).
A judge can order an intermittent sentence by looking at the following factors:
- Age of the offender
- Character of the offender
- Nature of the crime
- Circumstances surrounding the crime’s commission
- Previous record of the offender
- Life circumstances (i.e.: work, school or familial commitments) of the offender
After weighing those factors, the judge can decide between a consecutive and an intermittent sentence.
Benefits And Draw Back Of Intermittent Sentence
One of the drawbacks of an intermittent sentence is that, not all prisons can offer such terms, so certain offenders may need to travel further to attend a facility that can offer intermittent sentences. Also, a person serving an intermittent sentence will need to be booked in to prison multiple times, which is more invasive than only doing so once. Another drawback is that by stretching a sentence out over multiple small periods, the length of time to carry out the sentence is extended. Remember, between periods of imprisonment there will likely be probation terms.
The benefits of an intermittent sentence are more obvious, an offender can more easily rehabilitate if they maintain community ties, and they can continue work or school.
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