If you have been charged with possession of stolen property, there may be some pre-trial resolutions available to you that will result in your charges being dropped or withdrawn. The best way to get your possession of stolen property charges withdrawn is to complete a diversion program like alternative measures, or a mental health diversion program. However, both of these programs have eligibility criteria governing admission to the program, so whether you will have the option of pre-trial diversion will depend on the nature of your charges and your personal background. Specifically, alternative measures may be an option for you if you are a first or second time offender, and if the offence itself was fairly minor in nature. For example, you will more likely be eligible for alternative measures if the value of the stolen goods is under $5000.00, if there were no weapons or violence involved, and if there aren’t too many aggravating factors in the circumstances of the case. If admitted, you will need to complete activities such as community service, paying restitution to the victims of your crime, or other activities deemed necessary for your rehabilitation. However, once you have completed these activities over the course of two to four months, the charges against you will be completely withdrawn.
Sometimes, it may be the case that you commit the offence due to an underlying mental health issue. If there is a fairly clear connection between your commission of the crime and this issue, there is a chance that you can be diverted to a mental health program. Mental health diversion works in a manner that is very similar to alternative measures, however, mental health diversion also strives to address the underlying issue that led to the offence. As such, mental health diversion may also require you to complete other counselling and other types of medical treatment. However, like alternative measures, once you have completed the requirements of the program, the charges against you will be withdrawn.
If you do not qualify for a pre-trial diversion like alternative measures or mental health diversion, you may still be able to avoid a criminal record if you are granted a discharge. That is, after being found guilty or after pleading guilty to possession of stolen property, you could make an application to the court for a conditional or absolute discharge. An absolute discharge will mean that you are immediately and permanently discharged from the offence, while a conditional discharge will require that you comply with a set of conditions stipulated by the court for a specified period of time. Once that period of time has lapsed, you will be discharged from your crime and will be able to say that you have never been convicted of a criminal offence. In order to find out whether you could be a good candidate for a discharge or another pre-trial resolution, you should contact one of our criminal defence lawyers immediately. With our experience, we will be able to provide you with the full range of resolution options for your offence, and help you to resolve your matter in the most effective and favourable manner possible.