1. Decide if diversion is right for you

Before you ask about or agree to , it's a good idea to get your . Disclosure is the information that the police and Crown have about your case. The Crown uses the information in your disclosure at your to try to prove you're guilty.

Review your disclosure carefully and talk to a lawyer about the strength of the Crown's case against you. If you can't afford a lawyer, there are other places to get help.

Understand what diversion means

If you participate in a diversion program, you don't have a trial and you don't have to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. And you don't get a criminal conviction.

But you must take responsibility for your actions. You don't have to admit to everything that the Crown says about the criminal . But you should be willing to take responsibility for the actions that led to your .

And if you agree to participate in the diversion program, you must do what is asked of you as part of that agreement.

Ask about diversion

If you have a lawyer, you can ask them to speak to the Crown about the possibility of diversion. This usually happens at the Crown pre-trial, where your lawyer meets with the Crown outside of court.

If you don't have a lawyer, you can ask if your charges are appropriate for diversion. You can do this before your first court appearance, in between court appearances, or on the day you have court.

You also have the right to represent yourself and ask the Crown directly in pretrial if they would consider Indigenous diversion.

Before making a decision, the Crown will look at the type of crime you have been charged with. The Crown might ask you to come back to court on a different day to give them time to also talk to the victim or the police.

There are rules about what types of criminal charges the Crown is allowed to divert. Indigenous diversion is usually not available for violent crimes where there are injuries, charges, and other serious offences like drug trafficking. You're more likely to get diversion for less serious and non-violent offences like theft, not following conditions, or not showing up to court.

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