Alberta Legal | Criminal Defence Lawyers

Alberta Legal |
Criminal Defence Lawyers

Call Us Icon Criminal Lawyers Phone Number Email Us Icon Criminal Lawyers Email


Experienced Criminal Lawyers

News & Articles


Criminal Diversion Programs

By: Jillian Williamson

There are a few programs offered in Alberta that allow criminal offence allegations to be diverted out of the criminal justice system. This article will explain the Alternative Measures Program and how criminal lawyers Calgary can assist a person accused of an offence to divert criminal charges out of court potentially

 Alternative Measures Program

The first diversion program is known as the Alternative Measures Program. This program is available to individuals charged with minor offences. In order to be allowed to enter into the program, the prosecutor must agree to the accused person being referred into the program. Other criteria for entry into the program is that either the accused person has no prior criminal record or potentially a very dated criminal conviction. This program involves connecting with a probation officer. This program takes between 4 to 8 months to complete. Upon successful completion, the criminal charge is withdrawn.

How will I know if I am Eligible for the Alternative Measures Program?

Those eligible for the Alternative Measures Program are typically charged with a minor summary conviction offence which did not cause substantial harm to persons or property. Typical offences that are generally eligible for this program include but are not limited to:

  • 334(b): Theft Under $5000
  • 430: Mischief under $5000
  • 266: Assault
  • 380: Fraud Under $5000
  • 368: Uttering a Forged Document
  • 355: Possession of Stolen Property
  • 335: Taking a Motor Vehicle without Consent
  • 175: Causing a Disturbance 

What Is The Program, What Will I Have To Do To Complete It?

After being enrolled in the program and going through the intake process, you will meet with a probation officer to discuss options and conditions to complete the program. These may include, but are not limited, to the following examples:

  • Accepting responsibility for your actions that lead to the incident
  • Writing an essay discussing the impact of your actions
  • Participation in cultural/spiritual activities
  • Participation in a victim/offender reconciliation program (VORP)
  • Completing community service work
  • Enrollment in counselling
  • Writing an apology letter to those who your actions have impacted
  • Completing a donation to a registered charity;
  • Returning of property or restitution to the person impacted by your actions

Will I Have a Criminal record After I Complete the Alternative Measure Program?

After the successful completion of this program, the criminal charge is withdrawn. Therefore, there is no conviction registered on any record. However, some police systems and the criminal justice online information network (JOIN) will have entries related to this program recorded. Certain high-level security checks may reveal that a person participated in this program.

How Can A Criminal Defence Lawyer Help Me Apply for the Alternative Measures Program?

A skilled and experienced criminal defence lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor’s office to seek your enrollment into this program. Additionally, your lawyer can and should stick to handling you, the probation officer, and your efforts at completing the program. We use the information we collect from you about your life and family as well as any other helpful details in order to persuade the prosecution to allow you to enter into the program.

Alternative Measures Conclusion

Completing Alternative Measures is a very favourable outcome because it saves legal fees and guarantees (if successfully completed) no criminal record. If you have questions or have been charged with an offence, it is important to discuss all possible options, including how to potentially divert your criminal charges out of the justice system. The lawyers at Alberta Legal assess each case and take strategic steps to fight to the ends of the earth for our clients. Contact us today.