Legal Rights of Youth


  • The police have the right to stop a youth and do a search if they have objective reasons.
  • The police must advise a youth that has been arrested of his/her rights and make sure that the youth understands his/her rights.
  • The rights to remain silent, to know the reason for the arrest, and to retain counsel are important protections for youth.
  • Youth are generally entitled to have counsel and a parent or a responsible adult present when questioned by the police.
  • Youth can waive their rights under the YCJA.
  • Youth charged with an indictable offence can be fingerprinted and photographed.
  • Youth are entitled to pre-trial release with the exception of public safety issues, failure to appear concerns or unless the youth commits a serious offence, or has a pattern of outstanding charges or findings of guilt.
  • Youth are entitled to legal counsel at arrest, at trial and when an extra-judicial sanction is being used.
  • Youth have the right to be dealt with in a timely manner.
  • Youth have the right to a trial to determine guilt before an adult sentence is considered.
  • Sentences should respond to the needs of Indigenous youth and youth with special requirements.
  • The province may set up a program to recover costs of legal counsel from the youth or his/her parents.