A witness to a criminal offence is a person who was at the scene of the criminal offence or who saw or heard what happened.
For criminal offences committed on or after October 13, 2021
A witness to a criminal offence or the unaltered scene of a criminal offence is considered a victim under the Loi visant à aider les personnes victimes d’infractions criminelles et à favoriser leur rétablissement
A person who is not present at the scene when the criminal offence is committed, but who nevertheless witnesses the offence because he or she is in communication with the victim or the offender, is also considered a witness.
This communication must meet the following conditions:
- it is made through a technological medium such as a text message
- it involves an active exchange between the witness and the victim or offender
- it is conducted without interruption other than the time required to prepare and transmit or receive the next element of the exchange
- it allows the witness to see, hear or read about the offence as it is being committed
Witness the scene intact
What is an intact scene?
An undisturbed scene is the physical location where a criminal offence was committed prior to the presence of a police officer, peace officer, firefighter, paramedic or other first responder.
The witness may also qualify in one of the other victim categories (parent, spouse, relative or child of the victim). In this case, the person may be recognized as a victim as a witness even if the first responders or the person who suffered the injury or death is still present.