The judicial process in criminal cases
This section is based on the Justice en Action brochure prepared by the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches CAVAC – Crime Victims Assistance Centre.
LODGING A COMPLAINT
Recording of the declaration.
EVALUATION OF THE CASE
The prosecutor authorizes or refuses to accept the complaint.
- A lack of evidence doesn’t mean that you are not believed!
LAYING THE CHARGES
The prosecutor determines the accusations to be brought before the court.
The accused is informed of the charge or the charges held against him.
- It is the first time when the accused must appear before a judge.
- At any time, the accused can plead guilty to the accusations. If so, he is sentenced and the proceedings are completed.
The judge will determine if the accused remains in custody or if he is released with conditions (commitment to appear).
- If the accused doesn’t comply with the conditions, you can notify the police.
DISCLOSURE OF EVIDENCE
The prosecution is obligated to divulge all of the evidence to the defence attorney.
ORIENTATION / DECLARATION
The defence studies the evidence and makes the decision regarding the subsequent proceedings.
At this stage, it is determined if the evidence is sufficient or not for the accused to stand trial.
This is the stage when both parties have to present their evidence.
- At this stage, a judge can apprehend the case.
Decision of the judge: the accused id declared guilty as charged or is acquitted.
Following submissions regarding sentencing of each party, the judge renders a sentence.
- If you have completed the victim impact statement telling the consequences of the crime, it is when it will be delivered to the judge.
For more information on the various steps in the judicial process, please visit the Justice Québec website at:
OR consult the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (PDF)