The Court Process

Click on the link below to download a PDF of a flow chart that represents the process of a criminal court case with descriptions thereafter.

Court Process Flow Chart

Please be aware that if the accused is not found guilty through the criminal justice system, it is not that the court does not believe what happened to you; there may not have been enough evidence to make a conviction.

The Victim / Witness Assistance Program may provide information and support while assisting you to navigate the court process. The Victim-Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP) provides information, assistance and support to victims and witnesses of crime to increase their understanding of, and participation in, the criminal court process. Services are provided on a priority basis to the most vulnerable victims and witnesses of violent crime, such as domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, homicide and hate crime. Services begin once police have laid charges and continue until the court case is over.

V/WAP staff may provide:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Emotional support
  • Case specific information (court dates, bail conditions)
  • Court preparation and orientation information
  • Needs assessment
  • Referrals to community agencies

Staff also work with Crown attorneys, police and community partners on issues related to sexual assault and domestic violence. To find the VWAP office nearest you, call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888 or 416-314-2447 in the Toronto area.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is an administrative tribunal that is governed by the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act. The role of the Board is to assess financial compensation to those who qualify under the Act; that is victims or the family members of deceased victims of violent crimes committed in the Province of Ontario. It is important to know that:

  • This process may take up to two years.
  • There are numerous, long and complicated forms to be filled out that include many personal questions. A counsellor familiar with these forms may assist you.
  • The perpetrator will be notified that compensation has been applied for and may choose to be present for the hearing, unless the perpetrator has been convicted.
  • The survivor may have a support person present for the hearing.
  • There is no guarantee that any money will be awarded.
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