The Adult Therapeutic Court (“ATC”) is one example of the criminal justice system attempting to divert less-serious offenders away from the court process. This is a specialized court, geared towards those offenders who have mental health issues or acquired brain injuries (“ABI”).
The ATC has two streams: diversion or guilty plea.
If you are accepted into the diversion program, you must complete a program consisting of consultations, meetings, and possible treatment for your mental health or ABI. If you complete the program to the satisfaction of the ATC crown, then your charge is “stayed”, meaning the court process is at an end.
If you are accepted into the ATC, but for the purposes of completing a guilty plea, your mental health issues or ABI are taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing. The Judge assigned to the ATC is one who specializes in mental health issues, and together with recommendations from the Crown, the Canadian Mental Health Association workers, psychiatrists and defense, considers the appropriate sentence in your circumstances.
Need more information on the ATC? DeMelo Law can help you through this process. Contact Cassandra for a free 1-hour consultation.