What is the Adult Alternative Measures Program in Alberta?
Being charged with a criminal offence is a very serious matter that can have lifelong implications for the charged offender. It can affect job opportunities, travel, education, and more. In the criminal justice system, the response should be proportional to the seriousness of the crime. The Adult Alternative Measures Program in Alberta has been structured to strive towards fulfilling this need.
Individuals who have been charged with a minor offence may be eligible to avoid a criminal record by completing this program as a diversion option. To learn more, and discuss how our Edmonton criminal lawyers may be able to help in your case, contact our team at Verhaeghe Law today and schedule a consultation.
Who is Eligible for the Adult Alternative Measures Program in Alberta?
The guidelines of the Adult Alternative Measures Program in Alberta stipulate that first-time adult offenders may be eligible, provided their charges are minor. A second time adult offender may likewise be eligible, provided a minimum of two years have passed since a previous finding of guilt, or since a previous participation in the Alternative Measures Program.
In certain exceptional cases, a Chief Prosecutor or designate may approve access to the Adult Alternative Measures Program to an individual who may otherwise have been ineligible.
Because eligibility is dependent on the particular circumstances of a given case, it may be advantageous to the charged offender to work with a criminal defence lawyer who understands the Adult Alternative Measures Program in Alberta. Contact our Edmonton criminal lawyers today to discuss how we might help.
How does the Adult Alternative Measures Program Work?
In order for a charge to be withdrawn, an eligible individual must meet a series of conditions. When determining which conditions are appropriate for a given individual, the Correctional Services Division of the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General consider:
- their age;
- their education enrollment status;
- their employment status; and
- the amount of time available in which to fulfill the conditions.
The conditions must be commensurate with the crime, and every effort should be made to ensure the victim receives full restitution, compensation, and/or other sanctions, as appropriate to the circumstances.
An Adult Alternative Measures Agreement involves the following:
- reporting to and being under the supervision of a probation officer;
- pending a victim’s consent and availability, engaging in a victim; offender reconciliation program; and
- meeting no more than three additional conditions, including but not limited to the following:
- apologizing to the victim(s) personally or in written form;
- performing personal service to the victim(s);
- performing community service;
- participating in community counselling or intervention program;
- completing an essay or poster;
- providing restitution, compensation, and/or a return of property to the victim(s);
- participating in a restorative justice program;
- and more.
Does Completing an Adult Alternative Measures Program Mean No Criminal Record?
Completing an Adult Alternative Measures Program in Alberta involves an accused individual “taking responsibility” for the offence, but it is not the same as pleading guilty. Through this program, there is no finding of guilt, and therefore no conviction. Upon successful completion of the program, the charges are typically withdrawn, and the accused individual does not have a criminal record.
For a year following the program, a reported entry pertaining to it will appear on any police or vulnerable sector reports. It may be possible to apply to have this entry expunged. Contact our Edmonton criminal lawyers to learn more.
Contact Our Edmonton Criminal Lawyers Today for a Consultation
Criminal charges are a serious matter. If you have been charged with a minor offence, it may be possible to accept responsibility and make amends by meeting the requirements of the Adult Alternative Measures Program in Alberta. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our Edmonton criminal lawyers and discuss your eligibility, and how we may be of service to you.
** Please note, this article is intended as a general overview on the subject of criminal law, and is not intended to be legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with an Alberta criminal lawyer.