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Order prohibiting the accused from contacting the victim

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To obtain emergency assistance following a crime

Call 911.

In a situation that is not an emergency, but where you want to report a crime to the police, contact the police department serving your municipality.

You can receive help from a crime victims assistance centre (CAVAC) This hyperlink will open in a new window., even if you decide not to report the crime to the police.

When a suspect is arrested, the police may impose conditions on that person, including a ban on contacting you if you are the victim.

The criminal and penal prosecuting attorney (the prosecutor) can also ask a judge to make a no-contact order to prevent the accused from contacting you. The request is made when the judge decides whether to release the accused on bail.

A prosecutor generally requests a no-contact order

  • if the accused has behaved violently towards you;
  • if the accused has threatened you with violence;
  • if you have been the victim of criminal harassment.

The judge can make a no-contact order whether or not the accused is released on bail.

Definition and duration of a no-contact order

A no-contact order limits or prohibits any contact by the accused with you, or with

  • your family members (spouse, children, parents);
  • any witnesses;
  • any other person mentioned in the order.

The order must be reasonable with regard to the crime committed. For example, an order is considered reasonable if there is a possibility that the suspect (known as the accused if charges are laid) will contact you and continue to offend, even after being arrested.

A suspect or accused person must comply with the no-contact order as soon as it is made, or else receive a penalty.

The no-contact order remains in effect until the end of the trial. If the accused person is found guilty, the order remains in effect until the person is sentenced, unless it has been amended or lifted.

Factors considered by the police or judge

Before imposing a no-contact condition or making a no-contact order, the police or judge considers

  • the need to preserve the security of you or your family, and to protect you against intimidation and retaliation;
  • your fears and the fears of your family with respect to the suspect or accused;
  • the circumstances and seriousness of the offence;
  • the nature of your relationship with the suspect or accused;
  • your wish to no longer have any contact with the suspect or accused;
  • your personal characteristics, such as your age or family situation.

Means of communication covered by the no-contact order

A no-contact order prohibits the suspect or accused from

  • speaking to you, calling you or communicating with you by way of gestures;
  • sending you text or social media messages;
  • sending you an email or letter, or communicating directly with you in any way.

The suspect or accused person cannot ask another person to contact you by any means.

Partial no-contact order

What happens if you are in a situation where you need to have contact with the suspect or accused, for example if you share custody of your children?

You may wish to communicate with the person in specific circumstances, provided you initiate or consent to the communication.

You should inform the prosecutor of these circumstances so that they can be taken into account in the no-contact order.

No-contact order for the duration of a sentence

You can ask a judge to make a no-contact order for the duration of the sentence imposed on the offender after he or she has pleaded or been found guilty.

You can ask the prosecutor to submit this request to the judge on your behalf.

Amendment of a no-contact order

If you want to contact the accused for a specific reason, the prosecutor may request an amendment to the no-contact order, but only if this is in your interest.

The accused may also ask for the conditions on communication to be amended. The prosecutor will agree to an amendment only after consulting you, and if he or she considers that the amendment will not affect your protection or security.

If the prosecutor and the accused’s lawyer cannot agree on an amendment, the judge will hear the request for an amendment in court. You can attend the hearing to testify if needed.

Failure to comply with a no-contact order

A failure by a suspect, an accused person or a person who has been found guilty to comply with a no-contact order constitutes a criminal offence.

You should report any failure to comply to the police as soon as possible to ensure your security and the security of your family.

A failure to comply with a no-contact order can have serious consequences for the accused. He or she can be confined to prison for the remainder of the trial if not already in custody, charged with a new criminal offence, and/or receive a longer sentence.

Last update: January 10, 2024


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