877-786-4479
613-604-2188
If you are calling from a jail, please dial: 613-236-0535

Youth Archives

What You Need To Tell Your Kids About Pot

As of October 17th 2018 there has been a massive overhaul to the marijuana laws in Canada. As adults we can now purchase, possess, and consume marijuana legally, subject to a number of restrictions. But like with any big change, you can expect some confusion, some modifications and some bumps in the road in the coming months as these new and massive changes to the law get interpreted, applied and then tested in courts all over the country. Because of the complexity and multi-faceted impact of marijuana legalization, a lot remains up in the air at this early stage. School policies, policing policies and administrative policies are all also undergoing massive reviews to reflect the significant changes that will need to be implemented in response to marijuana legalization.

R. v. Hammerstorm - A Witness' Youth Criminal Record

Often times in a trial, the credibility of a witness is an important issue. The lawyers may seek to attack the credibility of a witness by asking them questions about their criminal record (If they have one). For example, if John Smith swears that he saw my client stealing from a grocery store, it might be helpful to highlight the fact that he himself has a criminal record for perjury (lying to a court). In those circumstances, John Smith's previous criminal conviction for perjury, is relevant to whether he is a credible a witness in my client's trial.

Youth Reprimands

The Youth Criminal Justice Act allows for a wide range of potential consequences should your child be found guilty of a criminal offence. The vast majority of the available sentences are community based (not jail) to encourage the young person to understand the consequences of their actions, but also to allow them to move forward with their life in a positive way.

The Laws that Apply to Your Child when Charged with a Crime

If your child is charged with a criminal offence there are a number of laws that may apply to his or her situation. Think of the criminal justice system like a puzzle, with a lot of smaller pieces of law that fit together to make up the bigger picture. The main acts to be considered are: the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Youth Criminal Justice Act. (There are others, like the Canada Evidence Act, that also play a role but less often).

Accused of a crime as a young offender? Know your rights

If your child faces charges as a young offender, you may be unfamiliar with the legal procedures and rules that govern criminal trials for juveniles. The Youth Criminal Justice Act applies to those between ages 12 and 18 accused of violating federal law. However, even though Ontario laws may favour rehabilitation rather than jail time for young offenders, the impact on your child's future can still be severe. Consequences could include your child being expelled from school or losing his or her ability to secure employment.

Délai déraisonnable pour les jeunes contrevenants

L'arrêt Jordan reçoit beaucoup d'attention aux médias. À travers du Canada, les juges ordonnent des arrêts de procédures pour certaines accusations qui subissent des délais déraisonnables en vertu de l'article 11(b) de la Charte. Le nouveau cadre d'analyse établi par la Cour Suprême du Canada établit un plafond présumé de 18 mois en cour provinciale. Avant Jordan, la cour évaluait le délai en vertu du cadre d'analyse Morin et devait déterminer si la présence ou l'absence de préjudice causé par le délai (incluant autres facteurs) signifiait que le délai était raisonnable ou déraisonnable. Bien que le cadre d'analyse Morin s'appliquait aux jeunes contrevenants, le préjudice était plus important pour les jeunes que les adultes dont des arrêts de procédures pour les jeunes étaient ordonnés dans des cas ou que le délai était moins qu'un adulte.

Diversion for Youth

Extrajudicial sanctions or EJS is a program for young persons charged with a criminal offence. This program is also sometimes referred to as Diversion. When a young person has never been charged with an offence, before, and when the allegation they are facing is not particularly serious (a theft or a mischief for example), your lawyer may be able to get the prosecutor to agree to participation in this program. This program provides a young person with the opportunity to avoid further involvement with the criminal justice system, and ultimately, the hope is that if your child participates successfully in the program the charges will be withdrawn or stayed. In other words, as a result of successful participation in EJS the charges will be thrown out and your child will not face any consequences criminally for their actions. (no youth record, no youth sentence etc). EJS is run through the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club. If your child is accepted into this program he or she will meet with a case worker from the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club and based on the particular circumstances at issue the caseworker will set up goals that your child needs to accomplish. Some examples are: volunteer work, counselling/programming, or a workshop. After the completion of these goals a report will be sent to the prosecutor confirming that your child has successfully completed the program. For more information visit the "Diversion" page at www.bgcottawa.org

Unreasonable Delay for Young Offenders

The Jordan case is getting a lot of media attention. Charges are being stayed across Canada, including serious charges like murder. The Jordan presumptive ceiling for provincial court matters is 18 months. Before Jordan, courts assessed delay based on loose Morin guidelines and determined whether the presence or absence of prejudice caused by the delay (among other factors) meant that the delay was reasonable or unreasonable. Although the Morin guidelines applied to youth cases, prejudice was more significant to youths than adults so stays were ordered in cases with less delay than adult stay cases.

Our Location:

200 Elgin St.
Suite 500
Ottawa, ON K2P 1L5

Toll Free: 877-786-4479
Phone: 613-604-2188
Fax: 613-236-6958
Ottawa Law Office Map

Our Office
Youth Archives | Ottawa Criminal Law Blog