Area of Law – Practice and Procedure

An Article about Withdrawal from crime

Withdrawal from committing an offence
One defence to a charge is that you had withdrawn from being involved in it. That is that you had agreed to be involved but had then withdrawn. This is different from saying you never were involved and never had an intention to commit an offence.

The issue of whether you withdrew is dependent of the facts of the case and establishing it will involve good old-fashioned preparation of your case. There is no substitute for hard work and effort in criminal cases.

Below are two comments from leading cases in relation to the issue of withdrawal;

To rely on withdrawal the accused must have “taken all reasonable steps to prevent the commission of the crime which he had agreed the other should commit.”

R v Becerra (1976) 62 CR App R

Although the understanding or arrangement must not have been called off before the commission of the crime, the mere fact that one or more of the parties to it feels qualms or wish that they had not got themselves involved or wish that it were possible to stop the criminal act or acts agreed upon will not amount to a calling off of the understanding or arrangemtn once it has been made. In order to call it off so far as concerns himself , a party must communicate his withdrawal to the other parties, or at all events take some other positive step such as informing the police.”

R v Jensen and Ward [1980] VR 194


Date: 01/09/2009