Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Dangerous Offender Definition:

A person convicted of serious crimes and who is likely to re-offend.

Related Terms: Long-Term Offender, Faint Hope Clause

From Canada's Criminal Code (edited and extract only), ¶753:

"The court may ... find the offender to be a dangerous offender if it is satisfied

    1. that the offence for which the offender has been convicted is a serious personal injury offence ... and the offender constitutes a threat to the life, safety or physical or mental well-being of other persons on the basis of evidence establishing

      1. a pattern of repetitive behaviour by the offender, of which the offence for which he or she has been convicted forms a part, showing a failure to restrain his or her behaviour and a likelihood of causing death or injury to other persons, or inflicting severe psychological damage on other persons, through failure in the future to restrain his or her behaviour,
      2. a pattern of persistent aggressive behaviour by the offender, of which the offence for which he or she has been convicted forms a part, showing a substantial degree of indifference on the part of the offender respecting the reasonably foreseeable consequences to other persons of his or her behaviour, or
      3. any behaviour by the offender, associated with the offence for which he or she has been convicted, that is of such a brutal nature as to compel the conclusion that the offender’s behaviour in the future is unlikely to be inhibited by normal standards of behavioural restraint; or
    2. that the offence for which the offender has been convicted is a serious personal injury offence ... and the offender, by his or her conduct in any sexual matter including that involved in the commission of the offence for which he or she has been convicted, has shown a failure to control his or her sexual impulses and a likelihood of causing injury, pain or other evil to other persons through failure in the future to control his or her sexual impulses.

In a FAQs available in 2007, Public Safety Canada (see publicsafety.gc.ca) summarized the dangerous offender designation as follows:

"A dangerous offender designation results from an application by the provincial Crown Prosecutor to identify offenders that if released after a normal sentence would pose a significant danger to the public. If granted, the designation carries an automatic indeterminate sentence with no chance of parole for seven years. Offences that meet the dangerous offender criteria are defined in the Criminal Code as serious personal injury offences, including specific sexual assault offences or, alternatively, a particular offence that was essentially violent or potentially violent and carries a potential maximum sentence of at least 10 years or more."

See also the definition of a long-term offender and a habitual offfender.

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