When Minors Face The Criminal Justice System

Youth are charged with many of the same crimes as adults and have the same rights as adults. However, they are not treated the same way by the justice system.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) recognizes that even if the acts are similar, the personal characteristics and needs of youth are not the same as those of adults.

Whether you or your child has been charged with shoplifting, assault, drug possession or any other charge, the treatment will be different from that given to adults. The YCJA often gives opportunities for more creative resolutions to criminal charges.

At Muenz Law Office, we can help you take advantage of these opportunities.

Helping Youth And Their Families Through The Juvenile System

Our lawyer will:

  • Answer your questions: You may have questions about not only your particular charge, but about the youth system itself. For example, many people ask if it's really true that a youth criminal record will completely disappear after age 18. (It's not. If you are charged again as an adult, your youth record will come up.)
  • Defend your case: You deserve the same defence as anybody else. We will look at the evidence against you and make sure that your Charter rights have been taken into account, that the police had a warrant or other valid reason to search or arrest you, and that you were not — and are not — treated as though your rights are worth less than those of an adult.
  • Access diversion and other programs: As a youth you may be eligible for various alternatives to the criminal justice system. These include counselling, writing letters of apology, community service and restitution.
  • Access programs if you are incarcerated: Incarceration is a last resort for youth. If you are incarcerated, your sentence will generally be shorter and will focus more on rehabilitation and education than sentences given to adults.

Contact Muenz Law Office

Clients charged with youth crimes, or their parents, often have many questions. For answers, call our Calgary law firm at 587-316-1499 or email us to set up an appointment.