How can I get my charges diverted to the alternative measures program?

>>>How can I get my charges diverted to the alternative measures program?

If you are interested in resolving your charges by completing the alternative measures program, you will first need to be admitted to AMP by the Crown Prosecutor. While a large number of alternative measure referrals come directly from the police, it is ultimately the Crown who will decide whether a person is let into the program or not. When considering whether you should receive alternative measures, the Crown will consider your particular circumstances and decide whether you would be a good fit for the program. The types of things that the Crown will look at generally includes:

  • The nature and circumstances of the offence;
  • Your prior convictions if you have any, how long ago the offences happened, and the nature of the offences;
  • Whether you have received AMP in the past, how long ago you received AMP, and whether you successfully completed the program;
  • Whether you show remorse or regret for committing the offence;
  • Whether allowing you to complete the program is in the interest of public safety; and,
  • What actions you have taken to rehabilitate yourself after the offence, if any.

When looking at the circumstances of your offence, the Crown will also look for aggravating factors that may actually preclude you from being accepted to the program. The types of factors that will bar you from the program include things such as whether you used or threatened to use a weapon when committing the offence, the seriousness of the impact on the victim, how sophisticated and planned out the offence was, and the degree of harm that was incurred by the victims or that could have been incurred by potential victims.

Note that the considerations outlined above are certainly not exhaustive, and the Crown can and will look at a host of other factors when determining your eligibility to the program. As there are a host of factors that can influence you admission to the program, if you are interested in resolving your matter through AMP it is in your best interests to seek the assistance of one of our criminal defence lawyers. We have ample experience in conducting effective resolution discussions with the Crown, and we know how to best present an offender’s case in order to maximize his or her chances of being diverted to AMP.

Once the Crown has decided to admit you to alternative measures, you will need to sign a form which states that you are accepting responsibility for the offence. Note, this is not the same as pleading guilty, and you will not receive a criminal conviction by accepting responsibility for the offence. However, accepting responsibility  is a non-negotiable requirement for admission to the program. If you are unwilling to accept responsibility for the offence, or if you indicate that you would like your matter resolved in court, you will not be accepted to alternative measures. If you are admitted to alternative measures, your matter will be spoken to in court and will be adjourned for several months to allow you to complete the program. On the return date, if the Crown has received proof that you successfully completed the program, the charges against you will be withdrawn.

Once you have been admitted to alternative measures, you will have to complete certain activities that are intended to assist with your rehabilitation. Typically, the types of activities that can be a part of the program include:

  • Community service;
  • Writing an apology letter to those affected by the offence;
  • Restitution to someone who had property damaged as a result of the offence;
  • Donation to a charity;
  • Counselling; or,
  • Other conditions that will appropriately facilitate your rehabilitation.

Once you finish the program, the charges against you will be completely withdrawn. However, if you fail to successfully complete the program, your charges will be referred back to the Crown Prosecutor and you can expect that the Crown will seek your full conviction.

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All our 30-60 minute free consultations are conducted with one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers and include the following steps:

  1. Gathering of some personal information about you, such as your level of education, occupation, and citizenship status. This information can be crucial for building your defence and seeking a resolution with the Crown Prosecutor;
  2. Careful review of all documents you received from the police. We will explain what each document is, and what you can expect from and need to do for all upcoming appearances;
  3. Critical review of your recollection of events, and any supporting materials you choose to bring with you. This step helps us identify possible defences and avenues for further investigation; and
  4. Discussion of the court process, our fee structure, and what we can do to help.

Beyond these steps, we would be happy to tell you more about us, and answer any questions you may have. If you chose to retain us to help you, we will immediately provide an overview of what steps we plan to take next, and suggestions as to what you should do to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

For the free initial consultation to be as productive as possible, you should bring (or email in advance) the following materials:

  • A written statement (preferably typed) outlining your version of events;
  • All documents that you have been given by the court or by the police;
  • Any disclosure you have received;
  • Photo ID; and
  • Any supporting documents, such as photographs, emails, texts, phone records, medical records, receipts, etc.

Ideally, you will have prepared a copy of these materials for us to keep, but if not, we can always photocopy them during the consultation.

We offer flexible payment options and structures designed to meet our clients’ individual needs. Our lawyers accept all major credit cards, bank drafts, money orders, email money transfers (e-transfers) and, of course, cash.

If you decide to retain us after the free initial consultation, all we need is a retainer (down payment) to get started. The rest of the fee payments for the case can be spaced out over time. We can set you up on a monthly or bi-monthly payment plan, and process payments over the telephone or by email to make it easy for you.

The cost of a criminal defence lawyer will depend on several factors, including:

  1. how complex your case is,
  2. how serious the charges are, and
  3. how experienced the Criminal Defence lawyer is.

The fees of a competent Criminal Defence Lawyer will typically range into the thousands of dollars. The good news is that only a fraction of that amount is due initially. We offer flexible payment schedules so thefees can be paid in monthly installments.

Additionally, we offer flat rate fees, with no hidden costs. It is our standard practice to review all the costs during the free initial consultation. This means you will know exactly what our services cost at the outset and can make an informed decision about how to proceed.