*2023 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

How to get the names of those who are criminally charged in Ontario, Canada.

The names of those facing criminal charges are public information that anyone can search and obtain.

Criminal charges in Canada are not private and confidential. The courts are open to the public and criminal cases are considered matters of public interest. Having an open system of justice is common in democratic countries as it discourages corruption and secrecy.

Since the courts are open to the public there are a number of ways other people can find out who is charged and with what. The downside of this is that your family members, friends, neighbours, employer, or anyone else can find out that you have been charged and the eventual outcome (disposition) of your case.

The most common ways members of the public can find out the names of those facing criminal charges in Ontario are:
  1. They are released to the public by the police themselves.
  2. They are discovered through Ontario’s online daily court lists public docket system.
  3. By using the provincial court case search tool to look up the accused’s name.
  4. A victim, witness, or other involved 3rd party tells their story to the media or on social media.
  5. By journalists attending court and reporting on who is charged.
  6. By calling the courthouse clerk's office and asking them to search for a name in their ICON computer system.
  7. By ordering a copy of the information at the courthouse clerk's office.
  8. By attending court in person or online via Zoom and seeing the cases that are being heard that day.
While each of these requires a little bit of work and perhaps some additional research to positively link a name to a particular identity, ultimately it is within the power of any member of the public to find out who has been charged by the police and with what.

The police just charged me. How can I prevent people from finding out about my criminal charges?

While not everything is under your control there are ways to lay low and perhaps away from prying eyes. The most important of which starts with you not telling anyone about it other than your defence lawyer. Hiring a lawyer to represent you will also mean you will not have to attend all or most of the court appearance dates (in person or via remote Zoom court). This way you avoid showing your face in court more than you have to.

Some people’s names are more likely to become public than others.

The likelihood of your name and charges becoming public will depend on the nature of the charges, the charging police force/your location within Ontario, and your personal level of profile within your community.

The police are more likely to release names publically when:
  1. They are searching for someone or more information as part of an investigation,
  2. They believe there may be other victims that they want to come forward (often in sexual offence related cases).
Even if the police do not release the accused’s name they may be in a jurisdiction where local journalists will report on who is charged in the community. While it is rare to see the accused’s name be publically written about for a regular DUI, domestic, or shoplifting case in a big city like Toronto or Ottawa, in smaller towns and cities these cases are more likely to be reported on.

Those living in smaller towns may also be more likely to have their charges gossiped about in the community. Often someone who witnesses the arrest will talk and word will spread throughout the community. Members of the public may then call or attend at the courthouse to obtain more information about the charges.

What if my charges are later dropped or I am found not guilty? Will my name still be publically associated with the charges?

The outcome of your case is also a matter of public record. Anyone can request a copy of the charging document (called the information) which will show what ultimately happened with your case.

The problem most accused have is that the media or the police will release their name and what they were charged with but do not follow up afterwards to say the charges were withdrawn or acquitted, etc. They then may have to live with the stigma of it showing up every time someone searches their name online.

From the perspective of the legal system this is okay because everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in Canada. Practically speaking however an allegation can damage a person’s reputation in the eyes of their family, friends, or employers.

Sadly most people presume that the police would never charge someone who is innocent. They often only learn this is not the case when they themselves are subjected to a false allegation.

Most people do not realize that all the police need to press charges against someone is a witness to state that they saw you commit a crime.

Many cases of assault, sexual assault, domestic assault, uttering threats, mischief, theft, etc. are based on nothing more than eye witness testimony. Sometimes the alleged victim is the only witness (commonly referred to as he said/she said cases).

The police do not need a confession or video evidence to lay charges. All they need is one witness statement (perhaps from the complainant). In Ontario most police also follow policies to always proceed by way of criminal charges in domestic violence allegation cases.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2023 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2023. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel