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Youth records

How does what happens after I'm charged affect my record?

If you're charged with a crime, you always get a youth record. The time that it lasts depends on what happens after you're charged.

Examples of what might happen

Charges dismissed or withdrawn

If your charges are dismissedIf your charges are dismissed, this means that your case is over and you're not found guilty.X or withdrawnWithdrawn means that the Crown attorney, who's the lawyer who presents the case against you, decides not to continue with your charges. They can't bring the same charges back. So your case ends and you're not found guilty.X :

  • your youth record is open for 2 months after any of these things happen.

Charges stayed

If the court staysStayed means that the judge orders that the court process pause or end. If it's paused, this means that the court process could start again within a year. And if it isn't started again, the court process ends. If it's ended, this means you're not found guilty. X your charges and doesn't restart them within one year:

  • your youth record is open for one year from the date that the court stayed the charges.

Extrajudicial sanctions

If you complete extrajudicial sanctions Extrajudicial sanctions are special programs that a young person can take part in as a way to take responsibility for a crime without pleading or being found guilty. They're sometimes called "diversion". They aren't offered in every case. They're usually only for minor crimes. If they're offered, you have to decide if you want to take part. If you finish the program, your court case is over and you won't have a youth court record. X :

  • the court won't keep information about you and will dismissIf your charges are dismissed, this means that your case is over and you're not found guilty.X , withdrawWithdrawn means that the Crown attorney, who's the lawyer who presents the case against you, decides not to continue with your charges. They can't bring the same charges back. So your case ends and you're not found guilty.X , or stayStayed means that the judge orders that the court process pause or end. If it's paused, this means that the court process could start again within a year. And if it isn't started again, the court process ends. If it's ended, this means you're not found guilty. X any charge. But the police must keep a record of extrajudicial sanctions Extrajudicial sanctions are special programs that a young person can take part in as a way to take responsibility for a crime without pleading or being found guilty. They're sometimes called "diversion". They aren't offered in every case. They're usually only for minor crimes. If they're offered, you have to decide if you want to take part. If you finish the program, your court case is over and you won't have a youth court record. X . Your youth record is open for 2 years from the time that you agree to take part in extrajudicial sanctions.

Reprimand

If you're given a reprimandReprimand is a sentence where you get a warning or lecture from a judge.X :

  • your youth record is open for 2 months after you're given a reprimand.

Absolute discharge

If the court gives you an absolute dischargeAbsolute discharge means that the court found you guilty but decided not to punish you in any other way.X :

  • your youth record is open for one year after the court makes that decision.

Conditional discharge

If the court gives you a conditional dischargeConditional discharge means that the court found you guilty and there are certain things, called "conditions", that you have to do to finish your sentence. If you don't do them, you might get a tougher sentence or be charged with another crime.X :

  • your youth record is open for 3 years after the court makes that decision.

Acquittal

If you're acquittedAcquitted means that the court found you not guilty of the crime you were accused of.X , which is also called "found not guilty":

  • there is a period of time when the Crown attorneyThe Crown attorney, who is sometimes called a prosecutor, is a lawyer who presents the case against you in court.X can appealTo appeal means that you disagree with a decision and are asking that someone with more authority review the decision. Others who are affected by the decision can also appeal a decision.X this decision. If the Crown attorney does not appeal, your youth record is open for 2 months after the end of the time when the Crown attorney could have appealed. If there is an appeal, when your youth record closes depends on what happens in the appeal.

Sometimes, how long your youth record is open depends on both what happened after you're charged and how serious the crime was.

(Reviewed August 2015)