Legal Chronicles

Youth Offenders

Youth Offenders

Charges under the Youth Criminal Justice Act

Youth Criminal Justice Act (S.C. 2002, c. 1)


Extrajudicial Sanctions 

In order to consider the young age of offenders and in a spirit of social reintegration, the Youth Criminal Justice Act favours warnings and extrajudicial measures when they are sufficient to make young offenders answer for their actions and when the conditions for their application are met. 

Following receipt of the file, the crown prosecutor may, before the appearance or during the proceedings before the court, transfer the file to a youth representative. The latter will decide whether or not the young person is eligible for extrajudicial sanctions. Different sanctions may be requested, such as: donations to a charity, community service, a letter of apology and etc. 


Once the sanctions imposed have been successfully completed, the charges will be dismissed.


Comparison with the Adult Justice System !


The Youth Criminal Justice System is based on a lower moral culprit than the adult justice system and advocates rehabilitation, reintegration, as well as strengthening the social values of young offenders. 


This is why parents must be informed of the proceedings brought and be present at the Court during the different stages. Despite these differences, adolescents enjoy rights and freedoms similar to those granted to adults such as the right to silence, the right to legal representation and the right to be heard. Adolescents are also subject to the Identification of Criminals Act.


Defenses Against a Charge under the YCJA


Although the consequences of a conviction in a youth court are generally less onerous than those for adult convictions, the result can still be a criminal record and sometimes-coercive measures. 


This can have repercussions for the teenager, now an adult, who commits a criminal offense since the youth charges remain in the police information systems. In some serious cases, the young person may be condemned to an adult sentence. These records are then deemed to be convictions for the purposes of the Criminal Records Act. 


Do not let your future be tainted; it is important to be accompanied by a competent lawyer who will put your interests and rights in the front line. 


Our criminal lawyers will be there for you through this process and help you find the right solution for your situation. Call us at 514-990-3430.