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Criminal & DUI Lawyers, including:
Three Former Crown Prosecutors

Can My Charges Be Dropped At The First Court Appearance?

One of the common questions that new clients ask us is “can my charges be dropped or withdrawn by the Crown on the first court date?”

So let’s pretend you are charged with impaired driving, a sexual assault, any other type of criminal matter, a domestic assault for example.  They want their charges withdrawn. The Crown hasn’t even had a chance to review the charge by the first court date.

Typically the Crown Attorneys don’t even receive the disclosure until on or after the first court date so the short answer to the question that the odds are basically slim and none that your charges are going to be dropped on the first court date. 

Once the Crown has your file the tests that are able to apply is there any reasonable prospect of conviction.  If the answer to that is yes your case is going ahead. It’s a very low level test.  Even if the Crown thinks they’ve got a weak case they’ll often proceed because that’s a low level test and sometimes even if the answer is no to that, it’s more politically expedient for them to proceed with a case rather than to face the wrath of a complainant who says “why are you dropping these charges?”

So that’s the short answer so whether your case will be dropped at the first appearance. In my entire career I’ve only seen this happen a few times and this is really very narrow type cases where the police felt the person was lying and told the Crown that before the first appearance. So there are exceptions to every rule but in your case you should say no there’s no way it’s going to get dropped at the first court appearance.

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