Can I Avoid a Criminal Record?
If you have been accused of a crime, a criminal record is a possibility. While criminal records are not publicly viewable, they can have negative effects on your future. You may be barred from traveling to certain countries, depending on the outcome of your criminal case. Your criminal record will also be accessible by police, prosecutors, customs offices and other officials in the future. In some cases, however, you may be able to avoid a criminal record. Seeking legal guidance from a Calgary lawyer can help minimize the chances of a record that will follow you in the future. There are a few options that we can help with that could help you avoid a criminal record.
Alternative Measures Programs
Alternative Measures Programs (AMPs) are available at both the federal and province level. These programs allow you to accept responsibility for your actions without being found guilty in court. These programs divert your case outside the criminal justice system. The Crown decides who will be eligible for AMP. To convince them that you are an appropriate candidate, you need an expert in criminal law on your side.
Peace bonds are court orders that work somewhat like a restraining order. A judge can order a peace bond if there is a reasonable fear that a person will cause injury to another person or a member of their family. A peace bond is more severe than a restraining order because, if you breach the requirements, you may be subject to criminal charges.
A peace bond can be an alternative to criminal charges in domestic violence offences that do not result in serious injury. The Crown may opt for a peace bond in cases where it is decided that it is not in the public good to proceed with criminal charges. The bond lasts for anywhere from six to 12 months. While a peace bond may show up on certain kinds of police searches, it is not entered into the federal criminal record database.
Mental Health Diversion
Calgary has offered a mental health diversion system since 2004. Under this program, individuals who suffer from mental illness and who are charged with minor, low-risk crimes can receive treatment instead of being prosecuted in court. If you are found eligible for a mental health diversion program, you will be eligible for community-based treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues.
Our extensive experience in criminal law can help guide you toward the best outcome of your criminal case. If you have been charged with a crime, do not resign yourself to a future with a criminal record. We will work on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected and that you get the best outcome to protect your future