LBE Has Been Winning Cases Since 1989!
Youth Criminal Defense Lawyer, Toronto, Newmarket
Young people in Canada have their own rights and responsibilities when they commit a criminal offence. They must still be held accountable for their actions, but they cannot be judged in the same way as adults due to their age. The law does not regard them as mature enough to have a full understanding of what they have done or the potential consequences.
Common youth offences may include:
– Possession of a weapon
If your loved one has been charged with an offence of this nature in Newmarket, seek experienced legal intervention immediately. Don’t take a gamble with their personal and professional future; a mistake made in their youth shouldn’t follow them for life.
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Winning Cases Since 1989
My name is Lawrence Ben-Eliezer and I am an affordable Newmarket and Toronto criminal lawyer with a wealth of experience at all levels of court. Whether it is your child, relative or other loved one, my goal is to help them walk away with the best result possible and protect their interests. Youth in trouble require a defence lawyer who understands the sensitivities of their case and can strategically develop a unique and effective defence.
I use the knowledge I’ve gained from conducting countless trials in the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice and arguing numerous appeals to strengthen their defence and prepare them thoroughly for the court process.
For youth offences, a criminal defence lawyer is your ticket to moving the process along quickly and presenting a strong defence in court.
The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)
Most crimes in Canada are prosecuted according to guidelines from the Criminal Code of Canada. However, the Criminal Code does not cover offences that are committed by young people. Instead, youth justice and offences are governed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
It applies to offenders from the ages of 12 to 17, guaranteeing their rights in the criminal justice system. Anyone under 12 is unable to be charged with a crime. Upon reaching the age of 18, the law considers the person a legal adult, hence, they will be charged under the regular laws dictated by the Criminal Code of Canada.
This law recognizes that youth are not as emotionally developed or experienced as adults and its goal is to curb crime while assisting young people in becoming responsible members of their communities. Under the YCJA, the names of youths who are convicted of criminal offences are subject to a publication ban, so that bad decisions made during childhood will not follow them into adulthood.
In most youth cases, the child’s privacy will be respected. However, this does not apply if they have committed a serious offence such as murder. In this case, they are treated like adults and their name can be published.
In addition, youth who are charged with offences will receive a youth record under the YCJA. Youth records are documents that contain all material on record with the police, court, government or non-government agency as it relates to a person’s involvement with the youth criminal justice system.
This record is much broader than the criminal record received by adults but essentially serves the same purpose as a record of criminal history. Only authorized people can access such types of criminal records including the youth, the victim, the police, the prosecutor, the accused’s lawyer and their parents or guardians.
Upon getting a criminal record, foreign travel and education opportunities become severely limited. The record will usually be kept for 3 to 5 years after the most recent youth sentence is completed, but might be maintained longer if the offence was considerably serious.
Sentencing For Youth Crimes
As a result of the YCJA, sentencing for youths also differs from that of adults. Sentencing takes place in specific Youth Courts and judges have a variety of penalties and sanctions which can be imposed. They try to emphasize rehabilitation instead of imprisonment by passing down sentences such as community work or probation.
Usually, a young offender will only be sent to jail if they have committed a violent offence and they have a history of committing the same or similar offences. Generally speaking, sentencing for youth criminal offences does not involve jail time, but community work. Jail time is usually an absolute last resort if a judge feels that other punishments will not be effective.
A judge considers many factors before deciding to send a youth to jail:
– They have committed a violent crime
– If the same crime was committed by an adult resulting in a sentence of over 2 years and if the youth has committed repeated offences
– The youth disobeyed other community service sentences they were assigned to serve
– In rare cases where the youth committed a serious crime and the judge feels that a jail sentence is necessary for rehabilitation or public safety
A judge must always provide a reasonable explanation for sentencing youth to jail time. However, even if a young offender is sent to jail, the length of the term is less than what an adult would serve for the same offence. In most cases, a young offender will only spend two-thirds of the sentence in jail, while the rest is served performing community service work.
Youth Criminal Defence Lawyer Newmarket
Handling a youth criminal case calls for a criminal defence lawyer who has the acuity, expertise and knowledge to deal with the intricate legalities required by this specialized area of law.
At LBE Law, our team of experienced lawyers have been involved with both sides of youth criminal cases. We bring the skills you need to protect your child from the consequences of bad decisions so they can grow up to be responsible adults who do not have to worry about the continued repercussions of the mistakes made in their youth.
If your child has been charged with an offence in Newmarket or Toronto, it’s best to seek experienced legal intervention from a qualified youth offences criminal lawyer immediately.