Young offenders are treated differently than adults by the criminal justice system and have enhanced rights and protections under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. As a parent or guardian, it is crucial that you are advised of these rights promptly and efficiently. By quickly retaining experienced criminal defence counsel at Liberty Law, you can ensure that your child’s rights are not ignored by the police or inadvertently waived.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act recognizes that young people lack the life experience and judgment of adults. Accordingly, special rules and considerations are put into place to ensure that young offenders are treated fairly and protected from the intimidating resources of the state.
As a parent, you are entitled to be notified by the police if your son or daughter is being prosecuted with a criminal offence. Young offenders are also entitled to have a parent present during any interview with the police, and must be notified in writing of their rights to silence and to be represented by counsel. Statements taken by police that do not follow the strict limitations of the Act are not admissible in court. However, police may attempt to have the young person waive these rights. Prompt and efficient advice from experienced defence counsel can help avoid these problems.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act recognizes that young people are more likely to make mistakes stemming from their inexperience and are more easily rehabilitated. Accordingly, the Act has different goals and principles for the treatment and sentencing of young offenders. There are also special rules designed to protect the identity of the young person and to promote their rehabilitation and reintegration into society as they transition to adulthood.
There is a greater range of sentences available for young offenders, many of which should not be considered “sentences” in the traditional sense. These sentences vary in terms of how they will be recorded on the young person’s criminal record, how long they remain on the criminal record, and whether any technical exceptions apply that can prevent the young person’s record from being sealed. A youth criminal record does not simply disappear on an offender’s 18th birthday.
Youth cases require a criminal defence lawyer with the specialized knowledge, sensitivity, and experience to deal with the complexities and special rules that apply to this specialized area of law. At Liberty Law, our young offender lawyers in Edmonton provide the skills and experience necessary to protect your son or daughter, and to ensure that they are able to transition into adulthood unburdened by the mistakes of their youth.