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What’s the difference between having charges withdrawn or stayed?

The decision by the Crown to stay or withdraw charges means they discontinue the prosecution. In both situations, once your charges are withdrawn or stayed by the Crown, you don’t have to go back to court.

However, there is one important difference. Stayed charges can be “brought back to life” within one year of the day they are stayed. While this tends to be rare, you should know that if you’re charged with new offences during the one year period after you’ve had charges stayed, the stayed charges could be brought back and the Crown could prosecute you on those same charges again. If charges are withdrawn, the prosecution of those charges is finished and those same charges can never be brought back.