What to Expect if you Report a Crime to Police

Last updated on January 14, 2019

The following generally describes what may happen when you report a crime to the police:

  1. You report a crime to the police.
  2. You will be asked to complete a witness statement.
  3. The police investigate the crime and decide whether or not to recommend to Crown counsel that the accused be charged. The police may also arrest the accused. If the accused is a youth, the police may decide to use extrajudicial measures.
  4. Crown counsel may approve formal charges against the accused if there is enough evidence to prove the accused is guilty of committing a crime. Crown counsel may refer the accused for alternative measures (for adults) or extrajudicial sanctions (for youth) or begin court proceedings.
    • See The Court Case for more information about what happens if the case goes to court
    • As a witness, you may be interviewed by Crown counsel
  5. The court decides whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.
  6. If the accused is found guilty, the court sentences the accused, which may include a custodial sentence, community supervision sentence, a probation order or a combination. If you are a victim, the offender's community supervision order or probation order may include terms preventing the offender from contacting or communicating with you.

More Information

For more information, visit:

Criminal Justice Glossary

Check our alphabetical list of criminal justice terms along with their definitions.