termination of proceedings

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There are three methods by which summary proceedings may be terminated: by service of a notice of discontinuance, by application to the court to withdraw the summons or charge (see withdrawal of proceedings), and by offering no evidence in court. In the Crown Court, the only proceedings that can be discontinued are those that have been sent for trial under s 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (see sending offences for trial). Otherwise, proceedings may be terminated only by offering no evidence or by the entry of a nolle prosequi. The prosecution may also apply to the court to leave an indictment or a count on an indictment to ‘lie on the file’. In such cases, there is no verdict, so the proceedings are not formally terminated. However, there can be no further proceedings against the defendant on those matters without the leave of the Crown Court or Court of Appeal.

Subjects: Law.

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