Can Sexual Assault Charges Be Dropped By the Victim in BC?

October 18th, 2022
Can Sexual Assault Charges Be Dropped By the Victim in BC?

The short answer to the question in the title of today’s blog is not really, but it’s a complicated issue. The charge of sexual assault—like other types of assault—can be an indictable offence or a summary conviction based on a number of factors.

The victim does not decide which cases will be prosecuted by the Crown. The Crown decides which cases will be prosecuted. However, cases can be more difficult to prosecute if a victim recants his or her account of what happened. So, if a victim does not want to pursue a court case and/or does not want to testify, then it is possible that the Crown Prosecutor may decide to drop charges. The Crown only pursues cases when there is a distinct or reasonable possibility of a conviction.

Assault charges like sexual assault are very serious, and if you have been charged with this type of crime, then you should engage a criminal defence lawyer without delay. If found guilty of a sex crime, there can be long term ramifications for the person found guilty, such as difficulty finding work or a place to live or even getting on a Sex Offender Registry.

If you are facing this type of charge, never try to talk to the victim, yourself, attempting to get that person to recant. Engage a lawyer to represent you, and follow his or her instructions to the letter.

If you are charged with sexual assault, please contact Gagan Nahal for a free consultation in Vancouver at (604) 527-4769. Mr. Nahal’s law practice focuses on criminal defence law, he has extensive experience in these areas of the law.


Gagan Nahal is a criminal defence lawyer based in Surrey, British Columbia, although he has represented clients across Canada. He works vigorously and tirelessly defending his clients. 

If you have any questions about this article or you would like to talk to Mr. Nahal, please call him directly at (604) 527-4769.