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Criminal Justice Information and Support

Court Support

Accused, victims and witnesses can use these resources.

Legal Advice and Representation

Everyone has the right to have a lawyer represent them in court. If someone cannot afford a lawyer, they may be eligible for legal aid. To find out how to get a lawyer and learn more about legal services and resources, please visit: Legal Assistance.

Court Support for Victims

There are resources available to support victims of crime. A victim service worker helps victims understand what is happening during the court proceedings and provides support throughout the court process. They will let victims know what to expect and can also attend court with victims. Contact a victim service worker by calling VictimLink BC.

Testimonial Accommodations - For Victims and Witnesses

Testimonial accommodations are special steps taken to support victims or witnesses of crime during their testimony. An accused have the right to see and hear the evidence of their accusers and anyone testifying against them.  But testifying may be very upsetting and frightening for some, especially children, youths or vulnerable people. In that case, Crown counsel may make a request to the judge for testimonial accommodations.

Some examples of testimonial accommodations include:

  • testifying behind a screen that allows the accused to see and hear the evidence without seeing the victim or witness;
  • testifying in a separate courtroom by closed circuit television; or
  • for those with mental or physical disabilities, testifying with help from a support person.

Under special circumstances, additional assistance may be available. 

For more information about support available to victims and witnesses please visit the Victimsinfo.ca website, call VictimLink BC to speak with a victim service worker, or explore this site further.

Court Interpreters

Court interpreters are available for accused and victims who speak a language other than English or are deaf or hard of hearing. 

  • Language Interpreter - If English is not a person's first language and they need help understanding it, they can request a court interpreter to interpret what is said at the trial by the witnesses, judge, lawyers and others. Often, the interpreter will sit beside the person, listen and interpret at the same time. Sometimes, the interpretation will be done with a microphone and a headset. Court interpreters have to be approved by the court.
  • Visual Interpreter - If a person is deaf or hard of hearing, they can request a sign language, deaf or real-time captioner interpreter.

For more information on requesting a court interpreter, please visit the Ministry of Justice website.

Special Needs Requests

A person can make a request for special assistance, such as wheelchair access, by contacting your lawyer, the court registry, courthouse sheriff or victim services.

More Information

For more information about court support and services available to you, please visit:

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