What is diversion for youth crimes?

3. Decide if you want to accept the diversion

If the Crown or police offer you extra judicial measures (EJM), extra judicial sanctions (EJS), or informal diversion, you do not have to accept it. You have a right to speak to a lawyer before you make a decision. For EJS you must speak to a lawyer before you make a decision. You should speak to a lawyer who has experience in youth criminal justice.

No one should pressure you into accepting EJM, EJS, or informal diversion. It's your choice.

If you're not sure that you want to accept EJM, EJS, or informal diversion, you can say: “Thank you for offering me diversion. I would like to talk to a lawyer before I make my decision.”

There are important things to think about when deciding if you want to accept EJM, EJS, or informal diversion.

  1. How long will your record last?

    See Step 2.

  2.  Do you have to admit you did something wrong before you can participate in the diversion program?

    Sometimes the way police describe a situation isn't the way you would describe it, or isn't accurate. You may be confident you're not guilty. But even if you're not guilty, you may prefer to deal with the charges through EJM or informal diversion. This may be an easier option than defending your case at a .

    Some programs require you to admit you did something wrong before you can complete the program. For example, you have to do this for EJS. If you don't want to admit you did something wrong, you should speak to your lawyer about finding an option that doesn't involve admitting what you did. For example, as an informal diversion you could volunteer at a food bank.

  3. Will you have to meet in person with the victim?

    There are some rare EJM, EJS, or informal diversion programs that give an opportunity for the victim to speak to the person charged with the crime. If you're uncomfortable with that, find out if you can choose to not meet the victim.

  4. Will the diversion program be practical for you?

    Most EJM, EJS or other diversion programs require you to attend in person at a specific time. They may also require you to do specific volunteer work or participate in specific activities.

    If it's difficult for you to do what is required, ask your lawyer about other options. For example, the location may be far from your home or you may have conditions that prevent you from doing the required activity.

  5. If you're offered EJS, is there a better informal diversion option available?

    Participating in EJS means you will have a 2 year youth record. But EJM and informal diversion have much shorter youth records. So if you are offered EJS, it is usually a good idea to talk to your lawyer about whether an EJM or informal diversion option can work instead.

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