Young persons are dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. This legislation differs considerably from the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. As they lack the maturity of adults, the justice system will place an emphasis on rehabilitating them.
Courts also have greater restrictions over the penalties they can impose on youths. They can only be placed in custody when certain conditions have been met. Custody can also take different forms for young offenders.
The law surrounding youth records is complex. One of the most critical aspects a defence lawyer can advise you on is the impact a finding of guilt will have on your record. Although there are strict rules as to who can access youth records, they are retained for a period of time depending on how the charge was dealt with.
These are just some of the considerations when a young person is facing charges. Don’t rush into making your own decisions without getting proper legal advice first.