As we have mentioned in previous posts, being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. There are multiple things that could happen in the process that could result in a positive outcome for an accused. In some cases it is possible that the charges could even be dropped.
A young Toronto area woman accused of criminal harassment recently learned that firsthand.
The 23 year old was a volunteer for the leadership campaign of a member of provincial parliament and worked in his office part time. While doing so, she was accused of sending threatening text messages to the campaign of another MPP. After workers for that leadership campaign complained to police, an investigation into the matter was conducted by authorities and the young woman was charged with five counts of harassment.
Earlier this month all charges against the young woman were dropped. In exchange, the woman agreed to stay away from the complainants for the period of a year, and pay a $500 peace bond.
A spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General indicated that if it is not in the public interest or there not a reasonable prospect of conviction, the Crown is duty-bound to withdraw charges. He also indicated that the Crown recommended the resolution proposed after considering the totality of circumstances and evidence.
As a result of the dismissal the woman will not face a trial and will be able to move on with her life in a timely manner. Even in situations where this option is not always available, a criminal defence lawyer may still be able to secure a positive outcome.