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Legal Information/ Legal Briefs

Legal Briefs

Until 2010, these legal briefs provide examples of judgments pertaining to everyday situations. Beginning in 2012, they deal with various topics of general interest, such as rental issues, family law, human rights, civil liability, insurance, dealings between spouses and social aid. They are intended to inform and to prevent undesirable situations.


Legal Briefs 2019

Legal brief
November - December
Preventive DetentionThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The judge refused to release you after you appeared in court while being held in custody for an offence and you wonder whether the time you spent in custody was properly credited as part of your sentence? Perhaps you think you were entitled to a “2 for 1” that wasn’t properly credited? There seems to be much confusion among accused persons who go through all or part of the court process while being detained, and rightly so, because there have been a lot of changes in recent years. Here is where things currently stand.

Judges have always taken into account the time spent in custody before sentencing, granting a credit of two, even exceptionally three, days for each day an accused spent behind bars before being found guilty. However, in February 2010, section 719 of the Criminal Code was amended to limit the credit to one day for each day of detention, barring circumstances justifying a credit of one and a half days for each day of detention. Furthermore, those held in custody because of a prior criminal record or because they committed a new crime while they had a case pending in court could no longer benefit from the enhanced credit.

In 2014, the Supreme Court clearly established the circumstances justifying the enhanced credit of one and a half days, circumstances that apply to virtually every accused.Indeed, the Supreme Court confirmed that the enhanced credit gives proper consideration to the impact of preventive detention on the parole process as well as the harsher conditions that exist while an accused is awaiting sentencing. 

In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that excluding the availability of the enhanced credit to those held in preventive detention primarily because of their criminal record violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.2

Lastly, since December 13, 2018, section 719 of the Criminal Code no longer excludes any accused person from the possibility of an enhanced credit for the time spent in detention prior to sentencing. 

The nonsense circulating between prison walls can therefore now be set straight: since February 2010, there is no more “2 for 1” credit, only “1.5 for 1”. And the vast majority of accused persons benefit from the enhanced credit, even if, in theory, it is not automatic. It’s therefore worthwhile to check with your legal aid lawyer to understand the calculation that will apply to you!

Don’t hesitate to have your eligibility for legal aid evaluated by making an appointment at a legal aid office near you.

To find the contact information for your legal aid office, please visit our website at www.csj.qc.ca

1 R v. Summers, 2014 SCC 26

2 R v. Safarzadeh-Markhali, 2016 SCC 14

Legal brief *
November - December  2019
Number  08
Text prepared by   Me Michèle Lamarre-Leroux
* The information set out in this document is not a legal interpretation.
The masculine is used to designate persons solely in order to simplify the text.
September - October
What you need to know about online purchasesThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
Online shopping is now commonplace. But is it secure? more
July - August
What is a parenting and mediation information session?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
If you are involved in a family law case that will be heard in Superior Court, your lawyer has most likely informed you of your obligation to participate in a parenting and mediation information session.

Since January 1, 2016, former spouses have the legal obligation to attend a parenting
May - June
Direct deposit mistakenly made by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The use of direct deposits for government benefits has become standard practice, but it may lead to unpleasant consequences for those who do not pay close attention to the deposits they receive. 

Indeed, the increasing types of deposits (parental benefits, employment insurance benefits,
April 2019
Labor standards, the 2018-2019 reformThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
In June 2018 and, more recently, January 2019, the Act respecting labour standards, which governs and protects certain Québec workers who are not covered by a collective agreement, was amended and enhanced. It is important to note, however, that certain categories of persons, incl more
My child wants to live with me: ca he choose?This hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
You and the father or mother of your child are separated and you cannot agree on how much time he will spend with each of you.

The courts issue many judgments dealing with this issue, and each decision must be made in the interests of the child and while respecting his rights.

On this
The right to a lawyerThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
The presumption of innocence: It is a fundamental principle of the Canadian justice system pursuant to which an accused is presumed innocent until proof to the contrary, that is, until the person admits their guilt or, at trial, the prosecution shows their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Inheritances and last resort financial assistance benefitsThis hypelink opens a PDF file in a new window.
“My mother died and left me an inheritance of $100,000 in money and property. Do I have to declare this to my agent? more
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017