Legal Line® provides Free legal information to through its website, telephone and fax-on-demand systems.
1,000 topics are covered within 35 areas of law...
740 Reporting crimes and having charges laid
- Having a charge laid by a Justice of the PeaceAlthough the police will generally lay charges when they believe that an offence has been committed, in some circumstances they may be reluctant to proceed with legal action. If an offence is alleged to have been committed and the police will not lay a charge, any member of the public can take steps to have a charge laid by swearing an information before a Justice of the Peace. An information is simply a legal document that contains the details of the offence and chronicles the progress of the case through Provincial Court.
- Process to lay a charge through a Justice of the PeaceWhen you meet with the Justice of the Peace, you will have to explain what happened and swear an oath that you have good reason to believe that a criminal offence has been committed.
If the Justice of the Peace is satisfied that an offence was committed, the Justice will issue a summons, which is a document that orders the person you accused to come to court on a certain day. The Justice may also in some circumstances, issue a warrant to arrest that person. At court, the Crown prosecutor will step in and take over the prosecution of the person you charged. If you are an essential witness you could receive a subpoena requiring you to attend Court to give evidence on the matter. The subpoena will contain information about the date and courtroom you must attend.