How to Withdraw your Charges by Diversion

How’s Withdraw your Charges by Diversion

Diversion is a voluntary method used to resolve minor criminal charges. It is a way to give an accused a chance to avoid prosecution and engage in an activity that allows their charges to be stayed or withdrawn by the Crown. In both cases, you aren’t required to return for a court procedure on your case.

A charged being “brought back to life” within a year of the day it is stayed, whereas a withdrawn charge may never be brought back.

The ultimate decision as to whether an accused’s case qualifies for a diversion lies with the Crown. For minor crimes for which the accused has no criminal record, the Crown can approve diversion.

Having a prior criminal record is not necessarily a deterrent for a Crown to offer a diversion, but it does make a difference in their decision to grant one.

Examples of such minor crimes may be:

  • Theft of a low-cost item from a store (e.g. shoplifting)
  • Minor fraud charges involving a small amount of money (e.g. switching price-tags or not paying transit fare)
  • Mischief (involving minor property damage)
  • Causing a disturbance
  • Possession of a small amount of marijuana (intended for personal use)

Factors that the Crown uses to decide whether an accused is eligible for diversion are:

Whether they have a criminal record

  • The seriousness of the charges (such as the amount of damage done or the type of injuries caused)
  • The cost of prosecuting the accused compared to the seriousness of the offence
  • The impacts a conviction would have on the accused compared to society’s interest in punishing criminal behaviour
  • The complainant’s thoughts about whether the accused should have diversion

It is essential to understand that withdrawing charges by diversion is completely voluntary. Agreeing to diversion does not mean that you are accepting being guilty of the offence. It only means that you are taking responsibility for the charges and trying to complete the case without resorting to court interference, such as having to plead guilty or having a trial.

At any point in the process, you may choose no to accept diversion, and set a trial date instead. Before making a final decision about diversion, it is wise to consult with a lawyer to go over your case.

Before agreeing to diversion, you should speak to a lawyer to assess your case and provide you with valid legal advice. Tailor Law Professional Corporation has lawyers who can help with your needs. If you require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-366-0202, or visit our website here.

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