Ottawa criminal lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth oppose the federal Conservative government’s tabling of a crime bill aimed at stiffening penalties for those convicted of white-collar crimes.
The bill, which is called “Standing Up for Victims of White-Collar Crime Act” and replaces Bill C-52, proposes several amendments to clauses in the criminal code as well as stiffer sentences for those found guilty of major fraud.
There are, however, flaws in the fraud bill which will have significant consequences for the legal system.
First, if the legislation is passed, a judge’s discretion will be limited in cases dealing with white-collar crime and fraud.
Second, the bill proposes tougher sentences for criminals charged with fraud; however, there is no evidence to suggest that tougher sentences work to deter or reduce this type of criminal activity.
Third, the bill will limit the ability to do plea bargains. And because the incentive to plead guilty for a favourable sentence will be eliminated in cases of fraud, we can expect increases in court delays because of more trials due to the fact that fewer deals will be made.
Ultimately, it is not clear that the new piece of fraud legislation will have a positive impact or not.