Most, but not all, serious criminal cases in the Local Court end with a verdict of guilty or not guilty.
Some other ways a matter can end include:
ODPP decides not to continue prosecuting.
If this happens, the magistrate will discharge the accused, meaning they will be free to go. Some of the reasons why the ODPP will make this decision include that the victim does not want to proceed; there is not enough evidence against the accused; or continuing is not in the public interest (see Discontinuing prosecutions in the ODPP's Prosecution Guidelines). The ODPP prosecutor will always consult with the victim and the police officer in charge if we are considering not continuing with a case. Victims who disagree with an ODPP decision can make a complaint or in some cases seek a review of the decision.
Magistrate determines the evidence is not sufficient
Sometimes, following the Crown presenting their case, the defence can make submissions that the evidence is insufficient to prove the charge. The magistrate will then decide if the evidence against the accused is strong enough to establish the charge. If the Magistrate decides the evidence is insufficient, the accused will be discharged.
If there are genuine questions about the accused’s mental health or capacity, the magistrate can make orders for their treatment and care instead of dealing with them in the ordinary way under criminal law (see Crimes involving mental illness or impairment).