Finding of Guilt Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act

 

A finding of guilt in Youth Court is not good. It is something you want to avoid. Speak to a lawyer like me to help you to be found NOT GUILTY.

A finding of guilt can come about as the result of a guilty plea or after a trial. 

 

A Court will only accept a guilty plea if it concludes:

 

  1. You are entering the guilty plea freely and voluntarily, no one, including your parents, is putting pressure on you to plead guilty

  2. You understand that you are giving up your right to a trial with evidence being proven at trial by the Crown, on a guilty plea a set of facts will be read into the record and you will be acknowledging them as correct

  3. You understand that even though the Crown has provided your lawyer with information as to proposed sentence, that the Judge will listen to the lawyers, but ultimately sentencing is entirely up to the Judge who will impose a lawful sentence  THAT THE JUDGE THINKS fits the crime and the offender.

 

Unfortunately the reality is that the finding of guilt will follow you for the rest of your life. Make sure you get good detailed legal advice before you plead guilty. See a lawyer face to face. Don't rush into a guilty plea saying "I just want to get it over with". If your parent says "I can't afford any more time off work" so the young person should plead guilty right away, alarm bells will go off for any defence lawyer, Assistant Crown Attorney, or Judge and they will probably refuse to co-operate with the guilty plea. Take your time, make your decision carefully.

 

A record of a finding of guilt for life is a lot worse than a record for life of an acquittal. Hire your lawyer about 6 months after the end of access period shown below to write to the police asking that records be destroyed. There is no guarantee of success.

 

Officially the YCJA reads as follows :

 

 

 (1) Subject to subsections (4) to (6), from the date that a record is created until the end of the applicable period set out in subsection (2), the following persons, on request, shall be given access to a record kept under section 114, and may be given access to a record kept under sections 115 and 116:

  • (a) the young person to whom the record relates;

  • (b) the young person’s counsel, or any representative of that counsel;

  • (c) the Attorney General;

  • (d) the victim of the offence or alleged offence to which the record relates;

  • (e) the parents of the young person, during the course of any proceedings relating to the offence or alleged offence to which the record relates or during the term of any youth sentence made in respect of the offence;

  • (f) any adult assisting the young person under subsection 25(7), during the course of any proceedings relating to the offence or alleged offence to which the record relates or during the term of any youth sentence made in respect of the offence;

  • (g) any peace officer for

    • (i) law enforcement purposes, or

    • (ii) any purpose related to the administration of the case to which the record relates, during the course of proceedings against the young person or the term of the youth sentence;

  • (h) a judge, court or review board, for any purpose relating to proceedings against the young person, or proceedings against the person after he or she becomes an adult, in respect of offences committed or alleged to have been committed by that person;

  • (i) the provincial director, or the director of the provincial correctional facility for adults or the penitentiary at which the young person is serving a sentence;

  • (j) a person participating in a conference or in the administration of extrajudicial measures, if required for the administration of the case to which the record relates;

  • (k) a person acting as ombudsman, privacy commissioner or information commissioner, whatever his or her official designation might be, who in the course of his or her duties under an Act of Parliament or the legislature of a province is investigating a complaint to which the record relates;

  • (l) a coroner or a person acting as a child advocate, whatever his or her official designation might be, who is acting in the course of his or her duties under an Act of Parliament or the legislature of a province;

  • (m) a person acting under the Firearms Act;

  • (n) a member of a department or agency of a government in Canada, or of an organization that is an agent of, or under contract with, the department or agency, who is

    • (i) acting in the exercise of his or her duties under this Act,

    • (ii) engaged in the supervision or care of the young person, whether as a young person or an adult, or in an investigation related to the young person under an Act of the legislature of a province respecting child welfare,

    • (iii) considering an application for conditional release, or for a record suspension under the Criminal Records Act, made by the young person, whether as a young person or an adult,

    • (iv) administering a prohibition order made under an Act of Parliament or the legislature of a province, or

    • (v) administering a youth sentence, if the young person has been committed to custody and is serving the custody in a provincial correctional facility for adults or a penitentiary;

  • (o) a person, for the purpose of carrying out a criminal record check required by the Government of Canada or the government of a province or a municipality for purposes of employment or the performance of services, with or without remuneration;

  • (p) an employee or agent of the Government of Canada, for statistical purposes under the Statistics Act;

  • (q) an accused or his or her counsel who swears an affidavit to the effect that access to the record is necessary to make a full answer and defence;

  • (r) a person or a member of a class of persons designated by order of the Governor in Council, or the lieutenant governor in council of the appropriate province, for a purpose and to the extent specified in the order; and

  • (s) any person or member of a class of persons that a youth justice court judge considers has a valid interest in the record, to the extent directed by the judge, if the judge is satisfied that access to the record is

    • (i) desirable in the public interest for research or statistical purposes, or

    • (ii) desirable in the interest of the proper administration of justice.

 

(2) The period of access referred to in subsection (1) is

    • (e) if the young person is found guilty of the offence and the youth sentence is an absolute discharge, the period ending one year after the young person is found guilty;

    • (f) if the young person is found guilty of the offence and the youth sentence is a conditional discharge, the period ending three years after the young person is found guilty;

    • (g) subject to paragraphs (i) and (j) and subsection (9), if the young person is found guilty of the offence and it is a summary conviction offence, the period ending three years after the youth sentence imposed in respect of the offence has been completed;

    • (h) subject to paragraphs (i) and (j) and subsection (9), if the young person is found guilty of the offence and it is an indictable offence, the period ending five years after the youth sentence imposed in respect of the offence has been completed;

    • (i) subject to subsection (9), if, during the period calculated in accordance with paragraph (g) or (h), the young person is found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction committed when he or she was a young person, the latest of

      • (i) the period calculated in accordance with paragraph (g) or (h), as the case may be, and

      • (ii) the period ending three years after the youth sentence imposed for that offence has been completed; and

    • (j) subject to subsection (9), if, during the period calculated in accordance with paragraph (g) or (h), the young person is found guilty of an indictable offence committed when he or she was a young person, the period ending five years after the sentence imposed for that indictable offence has been completed.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition orders not included

    (3) Prohibition orders made under an Act of Parliament or the legislature of a province, including any order made under section 51, shall not be taken into account in determining any period referred to in subsection (2)

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There is a new law in Ontario, in effect November 1, 2018, called the Police Records Check Reform Act. The new law standardizes police records checks across Ontario. There is a very good article that explains the PRCRA written by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

contact us

Contact us for an initial consultation.

Stephen R. Biss

Barrister & Solicitor

303-470 Hensall Circle

Mississauga, ON

L5A 3V4

905-273-3322

biss@lawyers.ca

Youth Courts We Cover

We represent young persons at all GTA Youth Court Courthouses including Brampton, Milton, Orangeville, Guelph, and Toronto.

​© Copyright 2018 Stephen R. Biss, Barrister & Solicitor

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