Criminal Law Problems
Here are the first steps and some useful resources for people in BC facing problems with the criminal justice system such as:
- I've been charged with a criminal offence and have to go to court.
- I've been accused of a criminal offence and have been offered "diversion", "restorative justice" or "alternative measures".
- I want to change my release conditions so I can have contact with my spouse or children.
- I want to move my criminal case closer to home.
- I have a criminal record and want to get a pardon (or record suspension).
|A number of "specialized courts" have emerged over the past few years that deal with people who are prepared to plead guilty or take responsibility for criminal offences. Two of them — the Drug Treatment Court of Vancouver and the Downtown Community Court — only take cases from the Vancouver area. Several First Nations Courts will take aboriginal offender cases waived from elsewhere in the province. Sentencing at the First Nations Court consists of a roundtable discussion among the judge, lawyers, helping professionals, offender, victim and supportive family and community members about an appropriate sentence or "healing plan." Related family legal matters and youth court matters can be dealt with at the same time. Contact Native Courtworkers (see the Resource List), Crown Counsel or a lawyer for information about accessing First Nations Court in Duncan, Kamloops, New Westminster or North Vancouver.|
|Legal Help for British Columbians © Cliff Thorstenson and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.|
A person appointed by the federal or provincial government to manage and decide court proceedings in an impartial manner, independent of influence by the parties, the government or agents of the government. The decisions of a judge are binding upon the parties to the proceeding, subject to appeal.
In law, in British Columbia a person under the age of 19.
In law, the federal and provincial governments and their departments and agencies. Lawyers employed by the federal and provincial governments to prosecute criminal offences.
A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."