Accused – Family Member or Friend

An accused person is someone suspected of or has been charged with committing a crime. They may have been arrested at the scene of the crime or at a later time. If your loved one or friend has been arrested, they could be held in custody or released by police or the court.

If your family member or friend is a youth, then they are treated differently. See Youth Justice for more information.

If you think your friend or loved one is being held in custody, you may be trying to locate them.  For more information, please see: Locating Someone in Custody.

Anyone held in custody must be brought before the court within 24 hours. They may be released or held for a bail hearing. To learn about what you can to do support a loved one or friend applying to be released on bail, see: Bail and Surety (Adult Accused).

For more information about what an accused person may experience in the criminal justice system, see: If You Are an Adult Accused of a Crime.  

Locating Someone in Custody

If your friend or loved one has just been arrested or detained by the police, they may be held in police lock up. Please contact police in the community in which they were arrested or detained.

Following their first court appearance, they may be held in a provincial correctional centre. If the person you are looking for is in provincial custody the Ministry of Justice can pass on a message to your loved one or friend, who can then contact you. However, they cannot tell you where your loved one or friend is located because privacy laws require that information be kept confidential.

To leave a message you may call 1 888 952-7968 during regular business hours. Be sure to have the full name and birth date of the person you are looking for.

Bail and Surety

Bail is a court order allowing the accused to be released into the community while they wait for their trial. A person released on bail must obey the conditions set out in the court order, report to a bail supervisor and return to court to face the charges against them.

A surety is a person who agrees to be responsible for an accused person on bail by making sure they follow their bail conditions and attend court as required. If you agree to act as surety for your loved one or friend, you agree to pay a sum of money to the court if they do not obey their bail terms.

For more information, visit: Bail and Surety (Adult Accused).

Support Services and More Information

Services are available for accused and family members or loved ones.

For more information, please visit: