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Common Questions

How does diversion work and how can I get it?

Last reviewed in February 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors

If you are 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. If you are accepted into diversion, the range of options includes making an apology to the victim, doing community service, and taking part in counselling programs.

Good starting points include:

  • Alternative Measures, from the Government of BC, explains who can be considered for alternative measures and what alternative measures can include.
  • Pleading Guilty to a Criminal Charge, from People's Law School, explains what to do before pleading guilty and what happens if you plead guilty. It provides contextual information on multiple options, including diversion.
  • LSLAP Manual: Criminal Law, from the UBC Law Students Legal Advice Program, has a section called "Resolving Criminal Matters Prior to Trial" that includes information about diversion. Also see Appendix B at the end of the chapter, which includes a description of how to submit a request for diversion and a sample diversion letter.

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See our related common questions:

charged with a crime, diversion (alternative measures), avoiding trial