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Court orders

If I'm found guilty, can the court order me to go to jail?

There are only a few times when the court can sentenceA sentence is the punishment that the court gives you if you're found guilty.X a young person to spend time in jail. This could happen if:

What "special circumstances" are is complicated and something that a judge decides.

If you're under 18, you won't serve your sentenceA sentence is the punishment that the court gives you if you're found guilty.X in an adult prison. Instead, you'll be in a youth custody facility, which is for people under the age of 18.

In youth court in Ontario, in only 21% of the cases where a young person is found guilty does the person get a jail sentence. This shows that most of the time sentences don't include spending time in jail.

It's much more common to get a jail sentence for serious crimes, like murder, attempted murder, and crimes that involve guns. And it's less common for less serious crimes like disturbing the peace, assault, or possessing drugs.

(Statistics Canada)

(Reviewed August 2015)