How do I get into the Alternative Measures Program?
Some individuals charged with minor criminal offences will be fortunate enough to have their matter pre-screened for the Alternative Measures Program (AMP) at their first court appearance. This means that a Crown Prosecutor has already reviewed the file and determined it is appropriate to be diverted.
Not every eligible accused is automatically diverted into AMP. Many times, an accused is rejected from the program by the screening Crown Prosecutor. In these situations, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer to convince the Crown Prosecutor that AMP is the appropriate resolution. Often, the difference between entering AMP or not, is having the right criminal defence lawyer. Cory Wilson works tirelessly to ensure that each client who is eligible for the program, is accepted into the program.
In order to be accepted into AMP, the Crown Prosecutor will look at a variety of factors including the accused’s personal circumstances, the nature of the offence, the relationship between the accused and complainant, steps taken for rehabilitation and whether the accused entering into AMP would not be contrary to the public interest.
Once the Crown Prosecutor has agreed that AMP is appropriate, the accused will have to sign a form indicating he or she “takes responsibility” for the alleged offence. This is not an admission of guilt nor can the form be used against an accused should the matter instead proceed to trial. Once the required paperwork is filed, the accused will meet with a probation officer in 4-6 weeks. During that meeting, the probation officer will set certain conditions that must be satisfied in order to complete AMP. These conditions may include:
- Community service work
- A written apology to the complainant
- Charitable donation
- Anger management counselling
- Restitution for damaged property
Once the accused has completed the necessary conditions, the probation officer will file a notice of completion with the criminal file. At the next court appearance, and upon reviewing the notice of completion, the Crown Prosecutor will withdraw the criminal charge. Defence counsel can then make an application to have the entire police file destroyed including the accused’s fingerprints and photographs.