The crown prosecutor can withdraw a criminal charge prior to a plea. The crown prosecutor has power under common law and criminal code to withdraw a charge. The judge has limited control over crown’s power for withdrawal of charges. If a person enters plea a crown can only withdraw the charge with the leave of court. A crown prosecutor may withdraw charges for a variety of reasons, including:
• There is no case against an accused.
• It is not in the public interest to continue prosecuting an accused.
• There is clear evidence to exculpate an accused.
• There is insufficient evidence against accused and there are minute chances of conviction.
However, having an uncooperative complainant usually does not help the crown to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt against accused. If the complainant changes his or her mind and does not want to proceed with allegations, and/or where the complainant changes their evidence, the crown may decide to withdraw the charges but there could be repercussions against complainant. Do not proceed with such decision without consulting a criminal lawyer.
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