Mandatory Minimum Sentences and the First Offender

Mandatory Minimum Sentences and the First Offender

Mandatory minimum sentence should be reserved for the best offender and the least serious version of the crime. 

See R. v. Garcia, [2004] O.J. No. 1714 at para. 148 (S.C.); R. v. B.C.M., 2008 BCCA 365 (CanLI) at para. 32; and R. v. Newman, 2009 NLCA 32 (CanLII)at paras. 55-57

However, the Court of Appeal has provided repeated direction that an offender’s first sentence of imprisonment should be as short as possible and tailored to that individual’s particular circumstances. 

See R. v. Priest (1996), 1996 CanLII 1381 (ON CA), 110 C.C.C. (3d) 289at 297-298 (Ont. C.A.); R. v. Vandale and Maciejewski (1974), 21 C.C.C. (2d) 250 at pgs. 251-252 (Ont. C.A.); R. v. Hayman (1999), 1999 CanLII 3710 (ON CA), 135 C.C.C. (3d) 338 at paras. 22-23 (Ont. C.A.); R. v. Borde (2003), 2003 CanLII 4187 (ON CA), 172 C.C.C. (3d) 225at para. 36 (Ont. C.A.).

Stuart O'Connell -
Stuart is Lead Counsel at O’Connell Law Group ( and works in association with the Firm.
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