Mental Health Diversion Lawyers Saskatchewan
How to get treatment for a mental disorder instead of a criminal record
The mental health diversion program is a program available in Edmonton and most major centers throughout Alberta that is designed to assist adults and adolescents with a mental illness who are charged with minor low-risk offences. The goal of the program is to ensure that those suffering from mental illness receive care and treatment instead of being prosecuted by the criminal justice system. The Mental Health Diversion program is a positive step that helps to address the increasing criminalization of people with mental illness. Accused persons accepted into the program most commonly suffer from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders as well as mood, adjustment and anxiety disorders. Often a client’s mental illness is made worse by a drug or alcohol addiction. If found eligible for diversion, an individual receives community-based treatment that focuses on the specific mental health, life skill issues, and addictions that may have contributed to the offence.
The diversion program is available for individuals charged with less serious offences where there is a reasonable belief that a person is suffering from a mental disorder. Such offences include things like: theft, fraud, mischief, assault, obstructions, public intoxication. Sometimes, even more serious offences like break and enter, assault of a police officer, or even various forms of domestic violence can be referred to the program, but this requires unique circumstances and a careful assessment by a criminal defence lawyer.
A mental disorder is a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation or memory. Our role as criminal defence lawyers is to convince the Crown that a client may suffer from a mental illness and would benefit from treatment instead of being prosecuted and convicted. Once the Crown gives his or her consent, health care workers complete an evaluation. If an accused person meets the internal criteria of the program, a three month court extension will be allotted to complete the treatment. We then go to court for a client and ask for a three month adjournment while they receive treatment. After those three months, if treatment has been completed, we again attend court and ask that the charges be withdrawn.
It is our job as a criminal defence lawyers to pursue any and all defences available. If you have been charged with a criminal offence and think you may be eligible for the diversion program, please call us. Barring unforeseen circumstances if you retain us and successfully complete the mental health diversion program, your charges will be withdrawn.
Mental Health Diversion (MHD) FAQs
Hi this review is for my lawyer Lisa smart. Lisa thank you for helping me out and for not judging me and my mistakes. I wasn’t good before from all the trauma and that wasn’t me and it made me feel alot better when you said you understand and when you said to just take a breathe and not worry as much because I was in good hands. Because I was in the best hands. I was so scared I was going to go to jail and scared of what would happen to my kids because they need their mom. Thank you for fighting for me and making sure they have a mom and one whose not in jail.
Lisa was kind and compassionate and did everything she could to ease my fears. She explained the process to me and walked me through all the possible outcomes which really reduced my stress. I can’t thank her enough for not only getting my charges dropped and helping me to move forward past my mistake but also for always making sure I was hanging in there along the way. Anyone who needs a criminal lawyer would be well served in hiring Lisa Smart.
Lisa is absolutely terrific I would highly recommended her for your lawyer needs. She’s not only passionate and organized she goes above and beyond. Lisa answers all your questions with great detail and explanation. She keeps you updated and never in the dark. If you need a lawyer who will see it through and be on top of everything Lisa is your lawyer.
Lisa at Oykhman Criminal Defence Law Office is amazing at what she does. She’s got a lot of compassion for her clients, great communication skills, and will actually sit down to listen to what you have to say, she’s willing to lend an ear when needed. I cannot thank Lisa enough for what she has done for us, if you need a lawyer, Lisa is your girl.
Lisa is so awesome that she didn’t just take away my stress, she straight up made defending my charges fun! strongly considering committing a new criminal offence so I can hang out with her again! Just kidding. Seriously though, if you get charged with something and are thinking ‘shoot I don’t have a guy for that’, then take my word that Lisa Smart at Oykhman Criminal Defence should DEFINITELY be your guy. She’s smart as whip, chill and down to earth and not at all pret