The firm harnesses the knowledge of law to secure the rights of our vulnerable clients. Read along to find out the intricacies and special care involved in representing a young person. If your son or daughter has been charged with a criminal offence, give us a call at 1-(647) 978-8444 or click here to schedule a free one-hour consultation.
When a young person between the ages of 12 to 17 years is charged with an offence, they are not tried like their adult counterparts.
Instead, they are dealt with in accordance with specific legislation known as the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
YCJA was enacted to protect the young persons through the criminal process with an emphasis on rehabilitation.[/vc_column_text]
Right’s Upon Arrest
A young person has the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to exercise the right at any stage of the proceedings.
The police are bound to inform the parents of the detained accused as soon as they arrest them.
The young will have access to a lawyer and to his parents or another preferred adult.
The police are not allowed to take any statement from the young person without the presence of a parent or their lawyer or some other adult person.
11(e) of the Charter provides that any person charged with an offence has the right not to be denied reasonable bail without just cause and that pre-trial detention is extraordinary in our system of criminal justice. The same constitutionally protected rights, which apply to adults, are applicable to young persons.
YCJA functions to limit pre-trial custody for young people, especially for those charged with a non-violent offence. Section 29(2) of the YCJA sets out the three preconditions, which the crown must satisfy on a balance of probabilities before a young person, is detained.
Unlike their adult counterparts, under the YCJA, the Crown always bears the onus of demonstrating the detention of a young person.
YCJA also affords special punishments including extra-judicial sanctions (EJS). A young person opting for this remedy will be required to acknowledge responsibility for the crime; however any admission, confession or statement accepting responsibility is inadmissible in evidence in any subsequent civil or criminal proceedings. Extrajudicial measures involve certain tasks, which seek to rectify the mischievous actions of the accused. This may include writing an essay, doing community service, attending a lecture, etc. Individuals who successfully complete the EJS program will not have a criminal record. Additional non-custodial sentence options include: For more serious offences, various sentencing options are available including, a deferred custody and supervision order along with custody and supervision order. A deferred custody involves the young person serving their sentence in the community under strict conditions. The maximum duration of this sentence is six months and is not available for an offence that causes or attempts to cause bodily harm.
Alternatively, there are a number of different custody and supervision orders and depending on the nature of the charges, requires the young person to serve a portion of the sentence in custody and the remaining it to be served under a community supervision order.
Despite all the special remedies available to the young accused, it is not a good idea to take benefit of them just to save yourself from trial. No young person should be pressurized to admit their guilt under YCJA in fear of a longer punishment. In these cases, the parents or guardians should immediately contact a good Criminal Defense Lawyer who will guide them throughout the case so that no injustice is done to the child who has their whole life ahead of him.
If your son or daughter has been charged with a criminal offence, give us a call at 1-(647) 978-8444 or click here to schedule a free one-hour consultation.