Criminal proceedings for young persons between the ages of 12 and 18 fall under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and within the jurisdiction of a specialized youth court. The individual’s age at the time of the alleged offence determines whether the matter can be resolved in youth court.
Because youths are a vulnerable class of society who often have much potential and many years ahead of them, the youth court generally may impose sanctions that promote rehabilitation while assisting their reintegration into society.
Typically parents will be informed of the process and proceedings. Youths have the right to counsel, as guaranteed by s. 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and must be advised of this right at the outset. Your defence lawyer will make every attempt to assist the youth to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society and avoid the imposition of a criminal record.