Youth Are Not Adults
Youths who are charged are treated differently in a number of ways, including:
- Awareness of consequences: Young people are still growing and learning, and even older teenagers are not expected to fully understand that some of their actions — such as schoolyard fights or defacing property — are actually illegal. Even clearly illegal acts may have consequences that young people are unable to appreciate.
- Extrajudicial sanctions: When appropriate, youths are offered "diversion" as an alternative to the criminal justice system. They may be asked to complete community service, go through drug or alcohol counselling, write an apology, provide restitution or accept other case-appropriate consequences for their actions. In return, they may not be charged at all or may have their charges withdrawn once they complete diversion.
- Sentencing: If a youth is found guilty, punishment is seen as far less important than rehabilitation and education. Sentences are generally shorter. Incarceration is seen as a last resort, suitable only for serious crimes or when the young person has not been deterred or reformed by earlier sentences.
- Parental involvement: Parents and guardians are expected and encouraged to be part of the court process, both to help explain the child's situation and background and to provide support during the case. However, the client is still the youth who has been charged.
Contact Pierre J.-L. Plourde
I offer criminal defence services for youths charged in Oshawa, Whitby and Ajax and throughout the Durham Region and nearby regions of Ontario. Call 905-785-2502 or contact my office by email to set up an appointment.
You deserve efficient, professional, legal services with a lawyer you will feel comfortable speaking to. For your convenience, I will travel anywhere within the Durham Region to meet with you at no extra cost, including at your home.