7. Dropped charges and other endings

The court process can end in different ways. Many protest cases do not get as far as sentencing, and it is extremely rare to get a prison sentence.

When it does end then it is the end of the case from your point of view, at this stage you can recover any property the police have taken from you, perhaps at the time of the arrest, and get on with your life…

However if your case is dropped along the way you could consider taking a civil action against the police, we can advise you of how to go about this and there is some information on the LDMG web site.

The CPS may drop the case against you all together – this can happen at any stage of the proceedings, even on the day of the trial itself.

The judge or magistrate may throw the case out. Again this can happen at any stage, but most frequently would be during the trial, for example if the police did not turn up to give evidence, or the judge thought your defence case was strong enough by half way through the trial.

The trial may proceed to it’s end and you may be found not guilty of the alleged offence.

You may decide to plead guilty or you may be found guilty at the end of the trial. There will then be a sentence given to you which ends the court procedure. Of course this may not be the end of the matter. GBC and LDMG can continue to offer you support following this.

Mostly sentences consist of community work or a fine, or a suspended sentence. On the very very rare occasions that a custodial sentence (prison) is given, again we will give you support during your time inside.

You may decide to appeal against a verdict or a sentence, in that case, of course, the legal procedure, and our support, will continue.

Key Messages

  • No Comment
  • You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.

  • No Personal Details
  • You don't have to give details under ANY stop and search power.

  • No Duty Solicitor
  • Use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.

  • No Caution
  • They admit guilt for an alleged offence that might never get to court.

  • What Power?
  • Ask "What power?" to challenge a police officer to act lawfully.