When formal charges are not brought, a case may be brought to a close in several ways.
Although the police may have provisionally charged a suspect in a case, the prosecution service may decide not to bring formal charges against the person. This means the case will not go to court. This typically happens in cases where the prosecution service does not believe that a trial would lead to a conviction – that is, cases where the evidence is not strong enough.
A case concerning less serious offences may also end with the provisionally charged person’s paying a fixed penalty or in certain instances receiving a notice that the charges have been dropped. When charges are dropped, the prosecution service believes that the provisionally charged person is guilty but will not take the case to court.
A victim in a criminal case cannot decide whether the provisionally charged person will have to go to court. This is a decision for the prosecution service. If the prosecution service does not find that a basis for bringing formal charges exists in the case, then you, as the victim, will be notified. You can file a complaint against such a decision made by the prosecution service. If you have a legal advocate, he or she will be able to tell you more about your options for filing such complaints. You will also receive guidance on how to file a complaint along with the prosecution service's decision. You can read more about legal advocates here.
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