It is very important for a person who is accused of a crime to seek the assistance of a lawyer to make sure that his rights are not violated. It is possible for the accused to be released if the charge is not as serious as it seems. It is also possible for the accused to become a part of a diversion program to avoid ending up with a criminal record.
What is a diversion program?
If it is the first offense and the accused is not likely to commit another crime, he may be allowed to become part of a diversion program. This means that the Crown will not charge the accused. In case, the accused has already been charged, the Crown will not continue with the case. However, it does not mean that the accused will be released without any conditions. The accused has to accept responsibility for the crime and express remorse.
The diversion program will include community service and other activities. The accused no longer needs to appear at court hearings and avoids possible conviction upon completion for the diversion program. The Crown prosecutor will withdraw all charges and stop the proceedings.
For example, the accused stole some cigarettes from a convenience store. The Crown prosecutor may offer a diversion program where the accused can do community service, pay a fine and recompense the convenience store for the cigarettes. The reasons for the diversion program may be due to the following reasons:
- To lower the costs to the system by avoiding incarceration and probation
- To reduce labelling and stigma
- To reduce the caseload of the justice system
- To reduce recidivism
- To prevent the accused from having a criminal record that will impact on future opportunities
A conviction is usually more punishing than the sentence for a crime. This is the reason why persons who are accused of a crime must call a lawyer immediately before making a decision.
Being accused of a crime can alter your life but you have the option of MyDefence lawyers who will provide legal advice prior to any decisions. Your rights as an accused will be protected to ensure that you are treated fairly.