Your Rights - Information for Crime Witnesses

Your Rights

As a witness to crime you have certain legal rights. This section provides information to assist you with understanding your rights as a witness. It also guides you to other information and resources to help you access and learn more about your legal rights.

Your Rights as a Witness to a Crime

As a witness to a crime, your rights include:

  • Information about the criminal justice process:
  • A court interpreter, if you do not speak or understand the language used during a trial
  • Not to have the evidence you give used against you in other trials unless you have committed perjury or given inconsistent evidence

You also have rights as a witness under the Victims of Crime Act, Section 14, which states:

"An employer must not discharge, suspend, intimidate, coerce, impose any financial or other penalty on or otherwise discriminate against an employee because that person is absent from work:

(a) to appear in court as a witness in a proceeding respecting an offence, or

(b) to attend at a meeting with justice system personnel at the request of those personnel to assist in an investigation or preparation for the prosecution of an offence."

If you are a victim of crime, please see the If You Are a Victim section of this site for information and support.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

If you are an immigrant or refugee, see the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more information.

Further Assistance

If you have questions or would like to speak with someone about how to obtain more information about your rights, contact VictimLink BC or your local police.

You can also find others who can help you, as well as legal information and resources available to you, by visiting Legal Assistance.