The victim of the assault changed their mind and does not want to press charges. Can they have the charges dropped?

>>>The victim of the assault changed their mind and does not want to press charges. Can they have the charges dropped?

Even if the victim of an assault decides that he or she does not want to press charges or no longer wants to press charges, the Crown Prosecutor may still prosecute the case. Assault is taken very seriously by the police and by our Courts, so while it is preferable for the Crown if the victim cooperates, the Crown can, and often does proceed even if the  victim no longer wishes to testify against the accused.

When a victim changes his or her mind about pressing charges and no longer wishes to testify against the accused, the Crown Prosecutor can still subpoena the complainant into court and compel them to answer questions about the assault. In such a situation, the complainant will become what we refer to as a hostile witness. This means that even though the complainant does not want to take the stand, they will still be obliged to do so by law. Further, once on the stand they will be required to answer questions truthfully, or else they can face criminal charges for perjury.

Where the victim of the assault is no longer available for trial or will not show up for trial, it is still possible for the Crown to pursue a conviction even without the victim’s live testimony. In some cases the Crown may actually be able to use statements that the complainant previously gave the police to convict you in trial. Further, to prove your guilt the Crown can also draw on evidence such as the testimony of witnesses who saw the offence, or medical records that provide evidence of the injuries suffered by the victim following the offence.

As such, even if a victim has changed his or her mind about pressing charges against you, it is still crucial to retain a criminal defence lawyer to protect your interests. Your lawyer can use his or her familiarity with legal proceedings to argue for the exclusion of incriminating evidence against you, or your lawyer can conduct effective negotiations with the Crown to try to secure you a resolution that will ensure that you walk away from your charges without a criminal record.

For specific information regarding your claim, please select the location that’s closest to you.

2018-04-13T14:27:49+00:00
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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.