Charged as a Youth / Young Offender?

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) applies to those who are 12 to 17 years of age. A person is considered an adult at the age of 18. The YJCA is intended to protect the public by holding youth accountable, preventing crime, and rehabilitating and reintegrating youth into the community.

If you are charged as a youth, by law, you are treated separately from an adult. For example, when police stop a youth they must tell him or her that they have the right to remain silent, the right to retain and instruct counsel the same as an adult, but you also have the right to have a guardian / parent / adult present.

Will I go to jail as a youth?

While serving a jail sentence is still a possibility, the YJCA contains a heightened focus on extrajudicial measures (form of punishment that doesn’t include a criminal record) for less serious crimes. If you’re charged with a less serious offence, you may be a suitable candidate for a police warning, referral to community program, or a Crown caution. If charged with a serious offence, you could be looking a custody.

Criminal Defence Lawyers

I am here to help you through the process if you are charged as a youth. It is especially important in these cases to help you navigate the process every step of the way. My job is to make the process easier for you - to review your case in relation to the charge(s) you are facing - address the court when, and as necessary – deal with the Crown Attorney for your matter – and give you the best defence at trial, or plea resolution possible bearing in mind the YCJA.  Make sure you have a lawyer that understands the law and is prepared to act for you.  I can also help you make an application to the court in order that Legal Aid provide a certificate for you to retain a lawyer.

You may qualify for Legal Aid:  See Legal Aid Ontario Information.

The Home of your Criminal Defence.

If you or someone you care about is looking for a criminal lawyer in Ontario, please contact us 24/7 for help:

Call: 905-895-4404
Toll Free: 1-877-751-4040
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