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Factors Which May Affect Sentencing under The Young Offenders Act or The Youth Criminal Justice Act

The Criminal Code of Canada, the Young Offenders Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and other statutes contain maximum penalties only. Actual sentence imposed will be within the maximum for the specific offence or offences and will be based on many factors.

Please note that the Sentences Imposed on Young OffendersTables show a spectrum or range of probable sentences based on the history of previous dispositions in the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) Family Court at Brampton. Consult a lawyer to assist you in preparation for sentencing. Your lawyer will gather evidence for sentencing purposes and make persuasive submissions to the Court respecting your unique case. Some of the following factors may be considered by your lawyer, by the Crown, and by the Court in imposing sentence under the Young Offenders Act.

  • Of what offence or offences, if any, is the young person really guilty?

  • Are alternative measuresor other diversion available?

  • Does the young person have a prior Youth Court record?

  • Is this incident a serious example or a minor example of the offence?

  • The absence or presence of aggravating factors.

    • Premeditation, planning

    • Position of trust

    • Age and vulnerability of victim

    • Alcohol involved

    • Degree of force

    • Repeated Acts

    • Sanctity of the home

    • Weapon used

    • Several offenders, gang

    • Accused as leader

    • Profit motive

    • Nature of drug

  • The absence or presence of mitigating factors.

    • Provocation

    • Good character otherwise

    • Guilty plea

    • Remorse

    • Spontaneity

    • Background of Offender

    • Age of Offender

    • Willingness for rehabilitation

    • Mental Capacity

    • Intoxication

    • Nature of criminal record

    • Amount or value stolen or damaged

    • Assisting Authorities

  • Sentencing on other charges at the same time.

  • The sentence received by a co-accused.

  • Supportive parents present in Court.

  • A good or bad pre-disposition or pre-sentence report.

  • The young person's general character and reputation in the community.

    • Character witnesses at Court

    • Character reference letters

    • Position taken by the complainant or victim

  • Criminal or other behaviour pending disposition

  • A treatment plan.

  • In what way did the parents already discipline the young person as a result of the incident.

  • The position taken by the the Crown as to appropriate sentence.

  • A joint submission by the Crown and defence.

  • The need for specific deterrence (does a custodial term need to be imposed to discourage this young person from offending again?) .

  • Prevalence of the crime in the community

    • Does the Crown have evidence that this crime is a serious problem in the community?

    • Is there a government initiative to "crack down" on this crime?

  • The need for general deterrence (does a custodial term need to be imposed to discourage other young persons and adults from committing a similar crime?)

Contact your lawyer for help on sentencing.

The actual sentence imposed in any case will depend upon a number of factors. Please consult your lawyer so that you can carefully prepare for sentencing. 
Return to "Sentences Imposed on Young Offenders"
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