Investigation Outcomes - Information for Accused

Not all investigations result in a charge, arrest and legal proceedings. An investigation could be stopped at any stage if the police conclude no charges should be laid. Sometimes, the findings of an investigation, even those not resulting in an arrest, can provide valuable information that assists in closing other investigations.


If police decide there is enough evidence to recommend to Crown counsel that charges be laid, police may decide to arrest you. Once arrested, you may be held in custody temporarily or until your court date (trial). In most cases, you will be released until your trial. To learn more about pre-trial custody, please visit Pre-Trial Custody and Bail and Surety.

Not Charged

You will not be charged if police decide not to recommend charges or if Crown counsel determines there is not enough evidence to prove you are guilty of committing a crime. If you are not charged, no further steps are taken and you will not have a criminal record.


While police may recommend charges, in B.C., Crown counsel makes the decision about whether charges will be laid and what the charges will be. Crown counsel will lay charges against you if there is a substantial likelihood of conviction if the public interest requires a prosecution.

If you are charged, you may be given the opportunity to participate in an alternative measures program or you may have to go to court.

More Information

For more information, please visit the following sections on this website: