If you get convicted, then generally you have to pay something toward the prosecution costs. But what if you prevail in upholding your innocence? Does the street go two ways?

And does the answer differ at all if it is not the crown but a private party that is the one waging the prosecution?

  • "Under the Costs in Criminal Proceedings Practice Direction (CrimPD Costs), we can serve on the defence a full costs breakdown. However, the defence is also entitled under section 19 POA 1985 to seek to recover costs if they have incurred costs due to an improper act or omission (R v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2017] EWHC 232 (Admin))." Mar 6, 2023 at 23:45

2 Answers 2


If you are charged with a crime and found not guilty, the state has to pay for the following according to StPO § 467 (code of criminal prosecution):

  • Your lawyer
  • All costs to the court

There are some cases in which the court may find that some costs are not to be repaid, making up points 2-5.

If the accused was in detention and found not guilty, they are to be repaid for this according to the StrEG - Law for the repayment for law enforcement actions.


You may be awarded a defense costs order at what now seems to amount to legal aid rates.

Since LASPOA 2012 this has been massively curtailed but the curtailed regime has now been restored to crown trials’ applicability.

As with everything else it has become diminished with austerity.


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