Criminal law matters relating to a young person, defined as aged twelve through seventeen, are dealt with via the Youth Criminal Justice Act of Canada which outlines a different set of procedures and punishments for Canadian youth, than those applicable to Canadian adults.
Created by the Canadian Government in April 2003, the basic principles of the act are as follows:
- The legal rights of youth between the ages of 12 and 17 years are upheld
- Youth are held responsible for breaking the law
- Youth face supportive, yet just consequences for the crime committed and not necessarily through court sentences but through alternative measures
- Encourages the legal system to react quickly when a youth breaks the law
- Canadian society is protected through the provisions of positive, long-term solutions for young offenders so they do not re-offend and have a second chance
- Encourages victims, family and community to be involved in a positive manner when a youth has committed a criminal offence
- Provides alternative measures, which will enable the youth to move forward in life without a criminal conviction.
In more extreme cases, depending on the gravity of the situation, a youth may be treated as an adult for sentencing and other legal purposes.
If your son, daughter or dependant has been charged with a criminal offence and is between the ages of twelve and seventeen, Raj Napal and NLC Lawyers can help. Contact us today for a private consultation.