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When the judge has found you
guilty of an offence but decides that you should not be punished.
When you are found not guilty by the court.
When the judge postpones the matter before the court. The delay may
be used to prepare a report, or to get a lawyer, or to prepare for
A system by which young people who break the law are dealt with
outside the regular court system.
These are reports prepared by experts to assist the judge in making
decisions about your case. There are many types of assessments: medical
and psychological, educational, predisposition and progress reports.
This is the provincial government department that prosecutes
offences. The prosecutor, whether he or she is a police officer or a
Crown Attorney, works for the Attorney General.
A hearing where the prosecutor
must show the judge why you should remain in detention. But if you are
charged with a very serious offence, or you are out on a release
already, your lawyer may have to show why you should not be detained
The formal claim that you
committed an offence.
Children's Aid Society
This organization deals with children whose families need help to
care for them. Not all provinces have children's aid societies. In some
provinces, a Director of Child Welfare or a Superintendent of Child
Welfare does this work.
The formal declaration by the judge that you are guilty. This
happens after you plead guilty or are found guilty.
Places where people are held in detention or custody before, during,
or after trial.
See Criminal Law.
The offences listed in the Criminal Code. The Criminal Code is a law
passed only by the federal government. The offences in the Criminal Code
are those offences that the federal government considers most serious
and harmful in Canada. If you are under 18 and charged with breaking the
criminal law, the Young Offenders Act will apply.
Crown Attorney/Crown Counsel
A prosecutor who is a trained lawyer.
Crown Wardship Order
You usually remain in the Children's Aid Society's care until you
are 18 years old or in certain situations until the age of 21. In some
cases an adoption might be arranged.
Criminal law - If you are found guilty, the judge may sentence you
to custody. This means you will not be free to go home for a specified
period of time and you must live in the place to which you are sent.
Family law - if your parents separate or divorce, a decision will be
made about who you will live with and who will be making certain
decisions for you. This is called custody.
Detention is a way of
controlling you if the court finds that this is necessary, between the
time you are charged with an offence and the time your trial ends. You
may be put under the control of a responsible adult, into a group home,
or into a locked facility.
When you have been found guilty by the Youth Court, the sentence or
punishment you receive is called a disposition.
Trained lawyers who are available to give you advice on the day of
your appearance in court. They are free to all young people but they do
not handle trials.
The information that is
introduced into court at a trial, and that is used to decide upon the
guilt or innocence of the person charged with an offence. If you are
found guilty, the judge will also consider evidence when he or she
decides what your punishment will be.
Family Court Clinic
The judge may send you here if
he or she wants a medical or psychological report prepared. A qualified
person will interview you and perhaps others who know about you
(including your family), may carry out some tests, and then prepare the
The offences defined in laws passed in Ottawa by the government of
all of Canada.
This is the first time that you go to court on any particular
matter. People who are charged with an offence often go to court on more
than one date. If you are pleading not guilty, the judge will usually
set a date for trial. If you are pleading guilty, the judge may decide
on your punishment on your first appearance. If you do not have a
lawyer, the judge may put off your case to give you time to get a
Offences are divided into two
types, summary and indictable. Indictable offences are the more serious
kind and result in harsher punishment than do summary offences.
This is when you are sentenced to custody but do not have to remain
in your place of custody at all times. You may be released for specific
times, often to go to school or to work.
An organization in each
province that controls and supervises lawyers.
Laying a Charge
This happens when a police officer or any person formally accuses
you of committing an offence.
This is where you can apply to get financial help to get a lawyer if
you are not able to pay for one.
Level of Custody
All places of custody are not the same. Some have minimal
supervision and security while others have maximum security and very
Someone who represents a young person in court because the young
person is too young to give his or her views and input. This person
could be any adult or relative who represents or speaks on behalf of the
Medical and Psychological Reports
These are reports that will be
prepared at the request of the court if it is believed that you are
suffering from some physical, mental, learning, or emotional problem.
These reports can be ordered if the court is thinking about moving your
case to adult court, if there is any question about whether you are
physically or mentally able to have a trial, or if the court wants this
information to help it make or review your sentence.
This involves living in a place
where the doors are not locked and there is less supervision than in
other kinds of custody. There are, however, a lot of rules to follow and
you cannot come and go as you please.
Parent includes any person who
has custody or control of you, and may include an adult with whom you
live or the Children's Aid Society.
When you formally tell the judge whether you are guilty or not
guilty according to the law.
This will be prepared if the judge feels he or she needs more
information before you are sentenced, and will always be prepared if the
judge is thinking about sentencing you to custody. Its purpose is to
help the judge decide what would be the most appropriate sentence for
you. You can ask the court not to have this report prepared if you and
your lawyer do not want one.
This is one kind of sentence the court can order. You will be put on
probation for a certain period of time when you are to be of good
behaviour, appear when asked by the Youth Court, and tell your youth
worker of any change of address, school, or employment. You may also
have to obey other conditions, such as reporting to your youth worker or
keeping a curfew.
The purpose of this report is to help the judge or review board
decide whether your present sentence is suitable or whether it should be
He or she is the person who will present the evidence against you in
court. He or she may be an experienced police officer, a trained lawyer,
or some other person. This person may also be called the Crown or the
A person or group of people who work for the provincial government.
The provincial directors are responsible to carry out the judge's
order(s), and deal with Probation and Place of Custody.
This is a doctor, psychiatrist,
psychologist, or other person the court believes is qualified to prepare
a medical, psychiatric, or psychological report.
When someone, usually a lawyer,
gives you legal advice or speaks for you to the police, a judge, or a
If you are having your sentence reviewed, you may go before a review
board instead of the Youth Court. The people on the board will review
your sentence in the same way the Youth Court would. Some provinces,
like Ontario, may not have review boards. Reviews of sentences will be
made by the Youth Court when there is no review board. Ontario does have
a Custody Review Board to look at your actual custody placement. For
example if you are put in a facility in Toronto but you want to be
closer to your family in North Bay the Review Board can change your
place of custody.
A court order allowing the
police to search a specific place on a certain date.
If you are sentenced to secure custody, the security is much greater
than in the case of open custody. This means more locked doors and more
staff to supervise you. In Ontario, there may be two types of secure
custody, medium and maximum security. Medium security involves greater
supervision than open custody. The outside doors are locked and usually
at least one room inside can be locked. Maximum security involves the
greatest supervision. The outside doors are locked as well as many
interior doors, often including the
rooms in which the young people
sleep. This maximum security is a lot like prison.
The consequence given by a judge for the offence that you committed.
It may be an absolute discharge or a punishment. In Youth Court it is
Offences are divided into two types, summary and indictable. Summary
offences are less serious than indictable offences and your sentence is
usually not as harsh.
You must live with your parents or another person who knows you. A
judge decides that the Children's Aid Society should be involved in your
case. The CAS tries to help you and your family. The court may order you
and your family to obey certain conditions while you are at home.
A special part of the police
force to deal with young people. Its members are specially trained and
selected to work with young people. Not all towns and cities have a
The court that you will go to if you break a criminal law. The
judges will usually be experienced in dealing with young people and
their families. If you are under 16 you will go to family court judges.
If you are 16 or 17 you will go to criminal court judges.