How does diversion work and how can I get it?

Last reviewed May 2024 by the Clicklaw editors

If you’re charged with a crime and you admit that you committed the crime, you may be able to deal with the charges without having to plead guilty or go to trial. You may be eligible for alternative measures, also known as diversion. Diversion is a program of community supervision by a probation office. You have to be recommended for diversion by the Crown counsel, and accepted by the probation office. If you’re accepted into diversion, your range of options may include making an apology to the victim, doing community service, and taking part in counselling programs.

Helpful resources

  • Alternative Measures (Government of BC): This explains who can be considered for alternative measures and what alternative measures can include.
  • Pleading Guilty to a Criminal Charge (People’s Law School): This explains what to do before pleading guilty and what happens if you plead guilty. It gives you contextual information on multiple options, including diversion.
  • LSLAP Manual: Criminal Law (PDF) (Law Students’ Legal Advice Program): The section called “Resolving the Matter Prior to Trial” includes information about diversion. Also see Appendix B at the end of the chapter, which includes a description of how to request diversion and a sample diversion letter.

Helpful services