Investigation Outcomes - Information for Youth

Last updated on June 9, 2021

Once police complete their investigation, they will decide if there is enough evidence to recommend to Crown counsel that a charge be laid. If there is not enough evidence, nothing further can happen through the criminal justice system.

If there is enough evidence, the police may still decide not to recommend charges. Instead, they have two options:

  • They may decide to deal with the situation outside the formal court process. This is referred to as extrajudicial measures
  • They may consider the case closed and take no further steps

If police conclude charges should be laid, they will prepare a report for Crown counsel. They will include all evidence gathered and recommendations for charges against the accused.

Crown counsel will review the police report and make the final decision about whether charges should be laid and, if so, what charges.

If Crown counsel decides there is not enough evidence to prove the accused is guilty of committing a crime, the accused will not be charged.

If Crown counsel decides there is enough evidence to prove the accused is guilty and the public interest requires a prosecution, they may deal with it outside the court process by sending a caution (warning) letter or referring the matter for extrajudicial sanctions. Or, they may approve charges.  If Crown counsel approves charges, the accused will be formally charged.

More Information

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Law Lessons

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