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What should I do if I’ve been asked to take some counselling or a course?

Unless you’re participating in a direct accountability program at the courthouse, it’s up to you to arrange, pay for, and complete counselling if you want to have your charges stayed or withdrawn.

For example, if you are asked to complete six counselling sessions to have a charge withdrawn, you’ll have to find a  counsellor, set up times to take the counselling and pay for the sessions (unless it’s free). Generally, each counselling session is about an hour. Counselling courses often fill up quickly and are booked well in advance, so you should try to arrange your sessions as quickly as possible. Before you sign-up for counselling, you can speak to your lawyer or duty counsel about the counselling you’re interested in to make sure that that it will satisfy the Crown.

It is important to bring proof to show the Crown that you have completed the counselling that they’ve asked you to do. This usually means bringing a signed letter, on the letterhead of the counsellor or organization, showing the number of sessions that you attended, and that you actively participated in the sessions.