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Court

Q.  How long does it take to get to trial?
A. 
The length of time it takes to get to trial depends on many things.  For example, some courts are busier than others.  If the offender is waiting in jail for the trial there is usually less time to wait before the trial, possibly weeks or a few months.  If the offender is not in jail it can take several months or even a couple of years.
Q.  What happens when it goes to trial?
A. 

You will meet the Crown Attorney, (a lawyer) who will help you prepare for what will happen during the trial.  The Victim Witness Assistance Programme will also help you become familiar with the court process and support you during the trial.  The offender will appear in court, represented by his/her lawyer.  The lawyers will take turns asking you and other witnesses questions about what happened.  This questioning is done under oath or solemn affirmation (you swear to tell the truth).  The judge (or judge and jury) will listen to the testimony and evidence.  This can include audio tapes, 911 telephone tapes or videotapes of the police interviews.

If the offender is found guilty, you also have the right to make a written Victim Impact Statement to the judge before sentencing.  This statement lets the judge know how the crime has affected you.  The judge can use this information to assist in determining the sentence length.

Q. Where can I get information to help me prepare for court?
A.
A new website called www.courtprep.ca can help.  Courtprep is an interactive, educational resource about the justice process in Canada, it is designed for youth who are preparing to testify in court.  You will find information on the Canadian justice process and witness tips.  There is also an virtual, animated courtroom that you can explore.  See the provincial and territorial links page that provides information on the services to victims of crime.
FAQs Protection Court The Law
FAQs Protection
Court
The Law