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I've been offered diversion. What do I need to know?
Diversion is a voluntary way to resolve minor criminal charges. It is also called "direct accountability".
And there will not be a formal "finding of guilt." But, in some cases you may be required to accept responsibility.
In return, you must do some work. This work is called "upfront" work.
Crown may offer diversion
If this is the first time you've been charged with a criminal offence, the Crown may offer you diversion. If you are being offered diversion, you usually find out at your first appearance. It's up to you whether you accept diversion.
What you must do
Your upfront work may include:
- community service
- a charitable donation
- anger management counselling
- addiction or mental health counselling
- a combination of the above
Some diversion programs, such as Mental Health Diversion or Extra Judicial Sanctions (EJS) for youth, are more formal. Whether you use a formal or informal program, you must do the upfront work to avoid being prosecuted.
You can change your mind at any time about accepting diversion and set a trial date instead.