Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Available Sentences/Alternative Measures

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When alternative measures may be used
717. (1) Alternative measures may be used to deal with a person alleged to have committed an offence only if it is not inconsistent with the protection of society and the following conditions are met:

(a) the measures are part of a program of alternative measures authorized by the Attorney General or the Attorney General’s delegate or authorized by a person, or a person within a class of persons, designated by the lieutenant governor in council of a province;
(b) the person who is considering whether to use the measures is satisfied that they would be appropriate, having regard to the needs of the person alleged to have committed the offence and the interests of society and of the victim;
(c) the person, having been informed of the alternative measures, fully and freely consents to participate therein;
(d) the person has, before consenting to participate in the alternative measures, been advised of the right to be represented by counsel;
(e) the person accepts responsibility for the act or omission that forms the basis of the offence that the person is alleged to have committed;
(f) there is, in the opinion of the Attorney General or the Attorney General’s agent, sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of the offence; and
(g) the prosecution of the offence is not in any way barred at law.

Restriction on use
(2) Alternative measures shall not be used to deal with a person alleged to have committed an offence if the person

(a) denies participation or involvement in the commission of the offence; or
(b) expresses the wish to have any charge against the person dealt with by the court.

Admissions not admissible in evidence
(3) No admission, confession or statement accepting responsibility for a given act or omission made by a person alleged to have committed an offence as a condition of the person being dealt with by alternative measures is admissible in evidence against that person in any civil or criminal proceedings.

No bar to proceedings
(4) The use of alternative measures in respect of a person alleged to have committed an offence is not a bar to proceedings against the person under this Act, but, if a charge is laid against that person in respect of that offence,

(a) where the court is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the person has totally complied with the terms and conditions of the alternative measures, the court shall dismiss the charge; and
(b) where the court is satisfied on a balance of probabilities that the person has partially complied with the terms and conditions of the alternative measures, the court may dismiss the charge if, in the opinion of the court, the prosecution of the charge would be unfair, having regard to the circumstances and that person’s performance with respect to the alternative measures.

...

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 717; 1995, c. 22, s. 6. CCC

The criminal code permits the provincial government to deal with certain criminal charges outside of the court system. This is usually in the form of diversionary programming available to first-time offenders of minor offences where the accused is prepared to accept responsibility.