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Brampton Criminal Law Firm Discussion on Youthful Offenders

April 17, 2024   |   Manbir Sodhi   |  
Brampton Criminal Law Firm
Brampton Criminal Law Firm

Brampton Criminal Law Firm Discussion on Youthful Offenders

Minors who face criminal charges are known as young offenders and face slightly different consequences than adults who commit the same crime. Young offender programs exist to rehabilitate children in hopes that they’ll learn from the experience and avoid a life of crime as adults. Discover how the legal system views young offenders and the options available to your child or other minor who commits a crime. 

How Canadian Law Approaches Young Offenders

Someone is considered a young offender if they’re under the age of 18 and face charges for some type of crime. This usually involves teenagers involved in a misdemeanour like trespassing or vandalism though some adolescents face more serious charges. Adolescent offender support is available to deter minors from committing more crimes in the future. 

Learn more about the legal process that young offenders face below. 

Establishing a Set of Rights

According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all offenders facing charges have the same rights regardless of their age. Law enforcement cannot unreasonably search or unfairly detain someone while the court presumes everyone innocent until proven guilty. If a minor faces juvenile offender intervention, they will have equal protection in the legal system regardless of their race, religion, sex, age, and disability. 

Youth Justice System vs. Criminal Justice System

Say a 16-year-old faces theft charges. Because of their age, they’ll enter the youth justice system rather than the criminal justice system that all adults face. This system emphasizes having support from their family and community and also does away with the traditional court setting. 

The primary goal of the youth justice system is to deter young people from a life of crime rather than hand adolescents harsh punishments. 

Undergoing Underage Offender Counselling

Let’s go back to the example of the minor with theft charges. Their defence lawyer could argue that this misdemeanour crime shouldn’t lead to sentencing but rather young offenders’ rehabilitation. Actions like writing a letter of remorse to the property owner they stole from could help them learn their lesson and avoid having the charges remain on their criminal record. 

Many misdemeanour charges lead to some form of teenage offender rehabilitation, such as:

  • Completing hours of volunteer work
  • Writing an essay to show their remorse for their actions
  • Attending classes that relate to the crime and its consequences

Some minors will face sentencing if found guilty, which all depends on the crime and if they pose a threat to the public. Every case is different but most young offenders face sentences that are less than two years. In extreme cases, youthful offenders could be tried as adults for crimes such as sexual assault or murder. 

Review Your Options With a Youth Justice Lawyer

Although young offenders go through slightly different processes than adults, they still need an experienced criminal defence lawyer to advocate for them and fight to dismiss the charges. Manbir Sodhi Law in Brampton offers professional legal services for anyone facing the youth justice system and will do everything possible for a successful outcome. To schedule a consultation, call their firm at 905-457-2546. 

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