I have a noise complaint. What can I do?

5. Go to court if there is a trial

You may be asked to go to Provincial Offences Court as a witness. You will be given the date and time of the trial. If you don’t go to court, the case will be dismissed.

Most trials are open to the public. And your name, and the name of any other witnesses, becomes part of the public record.

Trials are decided by a Justice of the Peace. The prosecutor will present their evidence first on behalf of the government. And the person charged will be able to present their evidence after. Evidence is made up of documents and witnesses.

Both the prosecutor and the person charged get to ask the witnesses questions. The Justice of the Peace may also ask questions. As a witness, you should:

  • tell the truth
  • listen carefully to the question, and wait until the entire question is asked before answering
  • answer only the question that is asked
  • think before answering each question
  • don’t guess
  • ask for clarification if required
  • be cooperative and polite

At the end of the hearing, the Justice of the Peace decides if the person is guilty. If the person is found guilty, the Justice of the Peace may sentence them right away or adjourn sentencing to another date.

There are a range of sentences in Provincial Offences Court. The sentence for breaking a noise bylaw is usually a fine. The amount of the fine varies depending on the bylaw, what the prosecutor is asking for, and what the court decides. It can range from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

For more information about a provincial offences trial, read the question: What happens at a provincial offences trial, and how to I prepare?

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