Youth Offenders: Will Your Age Affect Your Case?

Law Blog

As you may already know, certain cases are handled differently in Canada if you are a youth. If you're wondering if your case is going to be affected by your age, you will want to talk to a criminal lawyer, such as Wojick Stephen R, about your individual situation. These are a few things that you can look at to get an idea of whether or not your age will affect your case, however.

Are You Under 12 Years Old?

If you or someone you know who is facing criminal charges is under 12 years old, you should know that this affects the case drastically. Unlike in some places, the age of criminal responsibility in Canada is 12 years old. This means that legally, a person who is under 12 years old cannot be held responsible for criminal liability. If you or someone you know is under 12 years old and has been charged with a crime, it is important to work with a criminal defense attorney who can argue your case using the age of criminal responsibility as a defense, regardless of what the situation might be.

Are You Under 16 Years Old?

In general, if you are under 16 years old, you should not be charged as an adult in Canada. This is not the case in all situations, but it is something that your lawyer can argue for in court, depending on what criminal charges you are facing and whether or not you have been in criminal trouble in the past. It is best to talk to a criminal defense lawyer about your situation, since all cases are different.

Are You Charged With Murder?

Cases like murder, attempted murder and other presumptive offenses can result in your being charged as an adult. However, your lawyer can argue that you will still be held fully accountable for your actions with a youth sentence, and the judge might take this into consideration.

Have You Been in Trouble in the Past?

First offenses, as a whole, are looked at less seriously than repeated crimes. If you are a younger defendant who has committed violent crimes on more than one occasion, you may still be held responsible as an adult. If it is your first offense, however, you may be charged as a youth. This is especially true if the crime is not considered to be violent.

As you can see, your case -- and your sentence -- could be affected by your age. A lot of different factors go into how youth offenders are charged, convicted and sentenced. Talk to an attorney about your situation, so that you can get the best representation possible.   


2 February 2016