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Truth in Sentencing Act (S.C. 2009, c. 29)

Assented to 2009-10-22

Truth in Sentencing Act

S.C. 2009, c. 29

Assented to 2009-10-22

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (limiting credit for time spent in pre-sentencing custody)


This enactment amends the Criminal Code to specify the extent to which a court may take into account time spent in custody by an offender before sentencing.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Truth in Sentencing Act.


 Section 515 of the Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after subsection (9):

  • Marginal note:Written reasons

    (9.1) Despite subsection (9), if the justice orders that the accused be detained in custody primarily because of a previous conviction of the accused, the justice shall state that reason, in writing, in the record.

Marginal note:1995, c. 22, s. 6

 Subsection 719(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Determination of sentence

    (3) In determining the sentence to be imposed on a person convicted of an offence, a court may take into account any time spent in custody by the person as a result of the offence but the court shall limit any credit for that time to a maximum of one day for each day spent in custody.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3.1) Despite subsection (3), if the circumstances justify it, the maximum is one and one-half days for each day spent in custody unless the reason for detaining the person in custody was stated in the record under subsection 515(9.1) or the person was detained in custody under subsection 524(4) or (8).

  • Marginal note:Reasons

    (3.2) The court shall give reasons for any credit granted and shall cause those reasons to be stated in the record.

  • Marginal note:Record of proceedings

    (3.3) The court shall cause to be stated in the record and on the warrant of committal the offence, the amount of time spent in custody, the term of imprisonment that would have been imposed before any credit was granted, the amount of time credited, if any, and the sentence imposed.

  • Marginal note:Validity not affected

    (3.4) Failure to comply with subsection (3.2) or (3.3) does not affect the validity of the sentence imposed by the court.

Marginal note:R.S., c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 184(10); 1995, c. 22, s. 9

 Form 21 in Part XXVIII of the Act is replaced by the following:



Province of ............,

(territorial division).

To the peace officers in (territorial division) and to the keeper of (prison) at ............:

Whereas (name), in this Form called the offender, was, on the ........ day of ............ 20........, convicted by (name of judge and court) of having committed the following offence(s) and it was adjudged that the offender be sentenced as follows:


(state offence of which offender was convicted)


(state term of imprisonment for the offence and, in case of imprisonment for default of payment of fine, so indicate together with the amount of it and applicable costs and whether payable immediately or within a time fixed)


(state the amount of time spent in custody before sentencing, the term of imprisonment that would have been imposed before any credit was granted under subsection 719(3) or (3.1), the amount of time credited, if any, and whether the sentence is consecutive or concurrent, and specify consecutive to or concurrent with what other sentence)


You are hereby commanded, in Her Majesty’s name, to arrest the offender if it is necessary to do so in order to take the offender into custody, and to take and convey him or her safely to (prison) at ............ and deliver him or her to its keeper, who is hereby commanded to receive the accused into custody and to imprison him or her there for the term(s) of his or her imprisonment, unless, if a term of imprisonment was imposed only in default of payment of a fine or costs, those amounts and the costs and charges of the committal and of conveying the offender to that prison are paid sooner, and this is a sufficient warrant for so doing.

Dated this ........ day of ............ 20........, at .............


Clerk of the Court, Justice, Judge or Provincial Court Judge

Marginal note:Application — persons charged after coming into force

 Subsections 719(3) to (3.4) of the Act, as enacted by section 3, apply only to persons charged after the day on which those subsections come into force.


Marginal note:Order in council

 This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

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