Charges Withdrawn

Hands Showing People Talking to Get Charges WithdrawnWhen criminal charges are withdrawn, it means that the Prosecution has decided not to proceed with the case against you. Withdrawal is usually an acknowledgement by the Prosecution that the charges against you cannot be proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. This can be for several reasons, not usually specifically disclosed to you or your lawyer.

How Do You Get Charges Withdrawn?

Achieving withdrawal of your charges involves considerable work. Generally, success involves the following:

  • Legal Representation – Engage a criminal defence lawyer for advice and legal representation as soon as possible.
  • Review of Evidence – Your lawyer will analyse the police brief of evidence, and other information relevant to your charges, to identify the flaws and weaknesses in the case against you.
  • Negotiations with Prosecution – If appropriate, your lawyer will prepare detailed written submissions to provide to the Prosecution, highlighting the weaknesses of the police case and seeking withdrawal of the criminal charges against you.
  • Basis for Withdrawal – Withdrawal of the charges can be sought by your lawyer on your behalf on various grounds, including that there is insufficient evidence to prove the charges, procedural errors by police, a violation of your legal rights, or other factors that undermine the police case.
  • Decision to Withdraw Charges – In consideration of your lawyers submission, the Prosecution can decide to withdraw charges for a number of reasons, including an identified lack of evidence against you, a change in circumstances, or if it is determined that pursuing the case against you is not in the public interest.
  • Notice to the Court and the Accused – Once the decision to withdraw has been made, the Prosecution will notify your lawyer and the Court of their intention to withdraw the charges.
  • Court Appearance – On the listed Court hearing date, the Prosecution will make an application to the Court to withdraw all charges against you. The Court will then formally indicate that the charges as withdrawn and struck. This marks the end of the prosecution.

Legal Costs

Following the successful withdrawal of charges, remember to discuss with your lawyer whether you might be eligible to seek reimbursement of some of the costs incurred for your legal representation. Note however that it is common for the Prosecution to withdraw charges only with a specific condition that costs are not sought against police for reimbursement of your legal fees.


It is important to remember that the withdrawal of criminal charges does not necessarily preclude a future prosecution in relation to the same set of facts. While very unusual, this might occur if, for example, new relevant evidence arises.

Expert legal Advice

The process of getting charges withdrawn is a complex and often technical one, depending on the particular circumstances of your case. Assistance from an experience criminal lawyer is crucial to a successful outcome.