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Youth Criminal Justice – Appeals

Is the judge’s decision final or can I object if I disagree?

If you are found guilty and you disagree with that finding, you may appeal to a higher court. This means you can ask a higher court to look at your case. The higher court may agree with and uphold the decision, decide to change the decision, or order a new trial.

The prosecutor can also appeal if you are found not guilty.

Can I appeal my sentence, but not the finding that I am guilty?

Yes.  Both you and the prosecutor may appeal if one of you feels the sentence wrong. However, any future review of your youth sentence, whether custodial or not, cannot be appealed. Instead, if you are sentenced to custody for more than 1 year, there will be an automatic review of your youth sentence. You may ask for a review of your youth sentence not involving custody.

Can I also appeal other parts of a judge’s decision?

Yes, you can appeal a judge’s decision

  • that you have committed a serious violent offence,
  • of an order imposing an adult or youth sentence, or
  • of an order for a ban on publication.

Note: An appeal related to an order for a ban on publication must be appealed along with an appeal of the sentence.

If you received a custody sentence and the prosecutor asks the judge to keep you in custody instead of serving part of your sentence under supervision in the community, either you or the crown attorney can appeal the judge’s decision.

What happens during an appeal? Does everything just stand still during an appeal?

Under certain circumstances, even if you got custody as your sentence at your trial, the higher court can release you from custody while the appeal is going on.

Even if you have appealed, the prosecutor can still collect samples of your bodily substances for DNA samples, with a court order after you have been found guilty of an offence under the YCJA.

Usually, even if you are in custody, you are allowed to be present at the hearing of an appeal if you choose.

How do I know whether to appeal?

You should consult a lawyer to see if you have a legal reason to appeal.

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