How Can I Get Into The Alternative Measures Program?

December 3, 2020

How Can I Get Into The Alternative Measures Program?

Individuals charged with minor criminal offences can be eligible for the Alternative Measures Program AMP during their first court appearance. A Crown Prosecutor can review the file and determine if a specific legal matter is appropriate to be diverted to AMP.

Suppose you wish to resolve your criminal charges by completing this program. While many alternative measure referrals come directly from the police, it’s ultimately the Crown Prosecutor that determines a person’s eligibility for the program. During this process, the Crown will assess your distinct circumstances and decide whether or not you would be a good fit for AMP.

Things Considered By The Crown

While reviewing your criminal case, the Crown Prosecutor will generally look at the following vital things:

  • Nature and circumstances under which you committed the offence;
  • Any prior convictions, how long ago the felonies happened, and their nature;
  • Whether you have received AMP in the past, how long ago you received it, and whether you finished the program;
  • Whether you show regret for committing the offence;
  • Whether allowing you to complete AMP is in the best interest of public safety; and,
  • Actions taken by you to rehabilitate yourself after the offence

Other Considerations

When assessing your offence circumstances, the Crown can also consider additional factors that may make you ineligible for the program. Factors that could exclude you from AMP include whether you threatened to use a weapon when perpetrating the offence, the seriousness of the effect on the victim, how planned out the crime was, and the degree of harm incurred by the victims.

Hire A Professional Criminal Defence Lawyer

The Crown can look at some other factors when determining your eligibility for the program. Resolving your matter through AMP will require you to seek the assistance of an expert criminal defence lawyer. An experienced attorney can conduct practical resolution discussions with the Crown, and best present your case to maximize your chances to divert your criminal charge to AMP.

Prerequisite – Accepting Responsibility For Criminal Offence

Once the Crown decides to admit you to the program, you will sign a form stating that you accept responsibility for your alleged offence. This isn’t the same as pleading guilty. You won’t receive a criminal conviction by taking responsibility for your crime. Nonetheless, accepting the responsibility of your minor crime is a non-negotiable requirement for admission to AMP.

If you don’t want to accept responsibility for your offence, or if you would like your matter to be resolved in court, you won’t get accepted to AMP. Suppose you get admitted to the alternative measures program. In that case, your case will be adjourned for numerous months to allow you to complete AMP. On your return, if the Crown has obtained proof that you completed the program, it will lead to the withdrawal of charges against you.

Fulfilling AMP Requirements

After entering the alternative measures program, you will have to complete specific tasks intended to assist you with your rehabilitation process. Usually, the types of actions being part of AMP include:

  • Performing community service;
  • Writing an apology letter to the affectee(s);
  • Making a payment to anyone who got their property damaged as a result of the crime;
  • Donating to a charity;
  • Counselling; or,
  • Fulfilling other conditions that may facilitate your rehabilitation

After finishing the program, your criminal charges will get withdrawn entirely. Failing to complete the program will lead to your charges being referred back to the Crown Prosecutor. In that case, you can expect the Crown to seek your full conviction, which is why adhering to the conditions mentioned above is a must.

Slaferek Callihoo is an experienced criminal defence law firm based in Edmonton, Alberta. Visit our website to learn more about our professional legal services or contact us for legal advice.

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