Youth Offenders

The youth justice system in Ontario considers a youth offender as someone who is between the age of 12 and 17 that has committed a criminal act. A youth offender’s case is treated differently in court compared to an adult’s situation. This process is done under the Youth Criminal Justice Act which offers special protections for young offenders.

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How is a youth offender treated differently?

There are three particular ways that a youth will be treated differently than an adult in court involving a criminal matter.

  • Extra legal rights: These legal rights include letting the youth offender speak to their parents when stopped by police. Like an adult, they can also talk to a lawyer.
  • Different Court: As an adult, a criminal case will take place in the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Justice. Young offenders criminal cases will be held in what is known as Youth Justice Court, which in many situations, is kept private and away from the media.
  • Penalties: Youth offenders can have more options & flexibility for the punishment of their crimes. An example of this is the judge to rule that the youth be placed under the care and supervision of their parent or guardian rather than receiving a jail sentence. Another less severe set of penalties can include:
  • Curfews
  • Fines
  • Community service
  • Attend a program

The crime committed will always be a significant factor in determining the punishment.

If you are the parent of a youth that has been criminally charged, it is highly advised to speak to a criminal lawyer that represents youth offenders as they will, in most cases, know the types of outcomes can come with a specific crime.

We do not advise a parent to defend your child in court. An attorney has the experience and know-how in handling such cases.

Can my child go to jail as a youth offender?

In extreme criminal cases such as murder, manslaughter, sexual assault or even attempted murder, a youth can be tried as an adult, and an adult sentence can be given. Multiple charges in the youth offenders’ history can also be the reason the crown may seek adult sentencing. This can come if the person is between the ages of 14 – 17, and they may no longer be protected as a youth in court due to the severity of the crime.

There are not persons under the age of 18 in the prison system, so the youth would be kept in a detention center with other people who are between the ages of 14 and 17. Once they turn 18 years of age, they will be transported to a prison with other adult criminals to serve out the rest of their sentence.

Having a criminal lawyer that handles cases for people under the age of 18 is needed to defend a youth in court where they can hopefully lessen the sentence by appealing to the judge and present their client’s side of the case in a professional legal matter before the courts.

Youth (Young) Offender Lawyer in Toronto

At Legal Solutions Law Firm, one of the legal services we offer is defending people under the age of 18 that have been charged with a crime. No matter how severe the criminal charge is we can help you defend yourself in court. Our legal firm has the experience and understanding of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and we can show you the best path to take.

For a free consultation on any criminal charge, please call us. We offer flexible payment plans and flat fees with no hidden charges.

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