When a young person gets in trouble with the law, it can be stressful and confusing for both the youth and their family. And though the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) states that children aged 12 to 17 must answer for their crimes, the Act also emphasizes youth rehabilitation and reintegration into the community, while also encouraging the support of parents, who have a right to be informed of the measures and proceedings involving their children.
Alternatives to Court – Several outcomes are possible, depending on the youth’s situation and the seriousness of the crime. As much as possible, the youth criminal system tries to avoid a court process.
Teens Accused of Crimes: Possible Outcomes
Workers in the Youth Criminal System – Youth don’t go through the criminal justice system alone. Throughout the process that follows their arrest, they will meet different professionals.
Your Child’s Right to a Lawyer
People Involved in Youth Criminal Cases
The Role of Parents – The law says parents must be told about any measures or legal action taken against their child. Parents are encouraged to support and accompany their child throughout the process.
Your Child, the Police and You
Going to Court With Your Child
Detention Before Trial and Conditional Release
Responsibility of Parents – Parents are not accused of the crimes their child commits, except in rare cases. But parents might be taken to court in a civil case and ordered to pay for the harm their child caused.
Are You Responsible for Your Child’s Crimes?
Legal Responsibility of Parents
Consequences for the Youth – There are consequences for youth who are arrested, but they are not treated as adults.
Impact of an Arrest on a Teen’s Future
The following information and links were taken from Educaloi, a non-profit organization created to inform citizens of their legal rights and responsibilities in an effort to improve access to justice in the province of Quebec.