Youth Criminal Justice

Youth in Canada are defined as anyone between 12 and 17 years of age. Youth, or “Young Persons” as Courts sometimes call them, are bound by the Criminal Code of Canada like everyone else in Canada. However, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) affords certain benefits to youth being prosecuted for alleged offences. For instance, Youth benefit from having their identities protected while they are being prosecuted for alleged offences.

What is the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)?

Unlike the Criminal Code, the YCJA focuses on rehabilitation and reintegration back into society, while also focusing on holding youth accountable for their actions. While rare, youth can sometimes be sentenced as adults if the offence or offences for which they are convicted are serious enough.


Despite the identity and record protections afforded to youth in Canada, being charged with a criminal offence as a youth is serious and can have a long-lasting impact on the accused person’s life. If you or a loved one is a young person charged with an offence, contact a criminal defence lawyer at Cooper Lord Law.

Get in touch today for a free first consultation. Let’s get started.