Do Aboriginal Youth have Special Rights?

Aboriginal youth includes Inuit, First Nations, Indian and Metis youth, whether they are living on or off reserves. The YCJA requires that the needs of aboriginal youth be taken into account in any measures taken against them. This is a recognition that in the past young aboriginal people have not been treated fairly by the […]

What happens when I am found guilty?

The judge may decide that there should be a conference held to consider what an appropriate punishment would be. The judge will also consider anything that you and your lawyer, your parents / guardians, and the prosecutor tells the judge about you and you will all have a chance to make suggestions to the judge […]


A conference is a group of people who meet and then give advice to the judge about many different parts of the court process including sentencing. Many different people may sit on the conference. It may be the same as a youth justice committee if there are youth justice committees in your province or territory. […]

Pre-Sentence Reports

A pre-sentence report is a report about your personal life, including your family life, or your school life, or employment, past and present. Someone will investigate and give a report to the judge (usually in writing) if the judge wants more information about you before deciding on a sentence. Often the reports are prepared by […]

Medical or Psychological Reports

The judge may also want to have a medical or psychological report about you. A medical or psychological report is prepared if you and the prosecutor agree, or if the judge thinks that you are suffering from a physical, mental, emotional or psychological problem, or a learning disability. It can also be prepared if you […]

What if I have committed more than one offence?

You may receive a separate sentence for each offence. This means, for example, that for 2 offences you could have 2 fines to pay. Where you have committed more than one offence the combined time of the sentence imposed for these offences cannot be more than 3 years, except for first or second degree murder. If […]

What factors will the judge consider in deciding my sentence?

In addition to the Pre-Sentence Report, other reports, and any recommendations made by a conference, the judge will also consider things such as: your role in the offence – whether you were the leader, or how much you participated, the seriousness of the offence – how much harm was done, and whether the harm was […]

Can the judge give any punishment that he or she thinks is right for the offence?

Yes, but the sentences must be within certain limits, and in line with certain principles that the judge must consider. You should talk to your lawyer about what the likely sentence is for the offence with which you are charged. In addition to the limits outlined above, here are some other important limits and principles: […]