Some people may be under the impression that a Youth Record is completely different to an Adult Record. The truth is that there are actually quite a few similarities between the two. A Youth Record is defined by any form or kind of conviction which falls under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Such an Act was brought forwards on the 1st of April in 2003, whereupon it replaced the Young Offenders Act.
There are a number of people that can view such a record, and they are the only ones legally entitled to do so. They include the Police Officers or Services, a Crown Prosecutor, the youth themself, their victim or victims, the youth worker that was involved with the case, their lawyer as well as their guardians or parents, the director of a jail, the school supervisor of the youth, and the Province’s Attorney General.
Such a record will not be viewable following a stipulated stretch of time dedicated to the reviewing by the above-mentioned individuals. This is dissimilar to an adult criminal record, which will always be accessible and on file for the remainder of time – unless, of course, a Pardon has been granted (now known as a Record Suspension).
Although you may indeed be a youth, incurring a criminal record at such a young age can still prohibit one from accessing a number of privileges, which include things such as being able to travel outside of Canada, being accepted into universities and other tertiary institutions, as well as colleges. Such a status can remain right up until the closure of a file is put into effect and it is kept out of general reviewing.
Considering the Timeline in Which Youth Records Remain on File
There is a timeline regarding youth convictions that is on the same level as that of adults. The only discrepancy is that being a youth means that the record of conviction will be closed automatically.
Upon receiving a Summary offence, said record will stay open and be reviewable by the individuals listed above for a full five years following the completion of a sentence. With regards to indictable offences, the record will stay open and reviewable by said individuals for a full ten years following the completion of a sentence.
A common misconception involves the belief that one’s record will be closed upon turning eighteen. Such a process heavily depends on what kind of crime was perpetrated, the nature of the sentence being received, as well as if any ulterior crimes were perpetrated by the youth under review.
In accordance with the Indictable and Summary conviction processes detailed here, there are other timelines which are affected by various processed done in court which you may not know of.
You need to ensure that you take the time needed to find out whether a youth is liable to an absolute discharge – which will keep the record open for a full year, or for a conditional discharge, in which case the youth record will stay available for a full three years.