Things You Should Know About The Mental Health Diversion MHD Program

February 4, 2021

Things You Should Know About The Mental Health Diversion MHD Program

The Mental Health Diversion MHD Program is a pre-trial diversion plan available to someone who has a mental illness and gets charged with a minor offence. Suppose you have been accused of an inconsiderable crime, and you have a mental illness. In that case, the MHD program will allow you to avoid a criminal record by completing a rehabilitative program that is designed to help you with your condition.

The successful completion of the MHD program will result in the removal of criminal charges against you. Always consult with a trustworthy criminal defence lawyer who can help you successfully get admitted into a mental health diversion program.

Conditions Of Mental Health Diversion MHD Program

The Crown Prosecutor will usually offer you the Mental Health Diversion MHD Program if they recognise that:

  • You’re likely suffering from a mental illness
  • The MHD program is a better option to deal with your criminal charges effectively rather than prosecuting you in the court of law

Eligibility Criteria For Mental Health Diversion MHD Program

The Crown Prosecutor typically determines the eligibility concerns of an accused on a case-by-case basis broadly with an intention to:

  • Safety and wellbeing of both the individual (accused) and the community
  • Nature of the crime
  • Personal circumstances of the offender

Now, let’s discuss these three eligibility criteria for the MHD program one by one:

Safety Concerns

When evaluating your eligibility for this diversion plan, the Crown Prosecutor’s primary focus is to decide whether diversion is a genuinely secure option for you and your community. If they deem your actions as a continued threat to yourself or the community when diverted, you won’t get accepted into the program.

Offence Nature

The nature of your offence also plays a crucial role in determining your eligibility for the diversion scheme. Typically, the MHD program is meant for individuals charged with minor, or low-risk summary conviction felonies, including:

  • Fraud, mischief, theft, or possessing stolen property under $5000.00
  • Minor assault offences, excluding all domestic assault types
  • Joyriding or causing a disturbance

Unique Individual Circumstances

As the Crown determines the MHD plan’s eligibility on a case-by-case basis, it’s possible that in some specific situations, they could find you eligible for the program even when you’re charged with a more severe offence.

Under some particular conditions, an offender charged with less severe offences, such as minor assault of a peace officer, or a weapon assault, a property offence over $5000.00, can still be found eligible for a Mental Health Diversion arrangement.

Ineligibility Criteria For Mental Health Diversion MHD Program

Severe Offences

The Canadian criminal law denies entry to the MHD program for the most severe criminal offences, including murder, or criminal negligence resulting in someone’s death.

Domestic Assaults

Also, if you’re charged with a domestic assault offence, the court will deny you entry to the MHD plan, irrespective of how minor the assault was in the first place.

Aggravating Factors

The court can also deny your admission to the MHD scheme if they find out that you were involved in some aggravating factors when you committed the offence. These can include things, such as:

  • the use of a firearm during crime commission
  • significant planning involved in the offence execution
  • Significant losses suffered by the victim
  • Involving individuals under the age of 18 during an offence commission

Personal History

Besides reviewing your mental health history, the Crown Prosecutor will also consider your past criminal record to determine your eligibility for the mental health diversion program. Suppose someone’s previous record shows that they have a history of failed treatment or diversion or they are high risk for re-offending. In that case, it’s increasingly unlikely that they will enter the program.

Get Expert Legal Help

To be able to enter a diversion program, you will need the professional assistance of an experienced criminal defence attorney who has a thorough knowledge of such legal matters. Overall, you will need to demonstrate that you have the desire and motivation to change your lifestyle, and are willing to accept complete responsibility for your offence. Also, you will have to show that you are fully committed to completing the program in its true sense and comply with any treatments designed during your rehabilitation process.

Slaferek Callihoo is a leading criminal defence agency based in Edmonton, Alberta. We provide legal defence against different criminal cases professionally. Visit our website to learn about our specialised legal services or contact us for expert legal consultation.

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