What is the adult alternative measures program?

By Last Updated: March 16, 2022

The Adult Alternative Measures Program (AMP), is a diversion program that is designed for individuals who have no criminal record (or a dated criminal record), and who have been charged with a minor criminal offence. AMP was implemented in recognition of the fact that sometimes it is not worthwhile prosecuting very minor offences, particularly in cases where the objectives of criminal sentencing can be met if an offender completes AMP.

For example, AMP will be appropriate for a first time offender who has been charged with a minor instance of theft under $5000.00, say because he stole $50.00 worth of goods from a retail establishment. If he is willing to accept responsibility for his actions, acknowledge that he has done wrong, is at a low risk of reoffending, and is willing to complete a program that will help rehabilitate him and deter him from committing any further crime, the objectives of sentencing will be adequately met without the Crown having to prosecute him for the offence.

Eligibility for the Alternative Measures Program

Those who are eligible for AMP will generally have less than two prior offences on their record, and the prior offences will be fairly dated. In order to be eligible for AMP, you cannot have received AMP within the previous two years, and you generally cannot be charged with a very serious or indictable offence. Those eligible for AMP are typically charged with a minor summary conviction offence that did not result in significant damage to persons or property. This includes summary conviction offences like:

  • Theft under $5000.00;
  • Possession of stolen property under $5000.00;
  • Fraud under $5000.00;
  • Simple Assault (excluding Domestic Assault);
  • Mischief; or,
  • Communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services.

In some very exceptional circumstances an individual charged with a more serious offence like assault with a weapon, or theft, fraud, or possession of stolen property over $5000.00, may be admitted to AMP. However, it is important to note that under no circumstance will a person charged with domestic violence be found eligible for AMP.

Alternative Measures and Your Criminal Record:

Many people are concerned about how alternative measures will affect their criminal record. Because it is not a finding or admission of guilt, alternative measures does not amount to a conviction. While alternative measures will not show up on most criminal record checks, the fact that you have received alternative measures can show up on some enhanced criminal record checks for the period of one year.

About The Author

Michael Oykhman

Managing Partner

Michael Oykhman is a senior lawyer and founder of Strategic Criminal Defence, a full-service criminal law firm with central law offices across Western Canada and Ontario.

My professional experience consists of countless court appearances and thousands of successful defences and satisfied clients. Over the last 10 years, I have worked to build a law office where all the lawyers share our collective experience, resources, and passion to help people. Our team approach to legal representation is client–rather than only law–centred. We look for opportunities to add value to our clients through strategic thinking and creative solutions.

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