How does having a youth record affect me?

2. Learn who can see your youth records

Your youth records are private and confidential. Only specific people in specific situations are allowed to access your youth records.

Who can see your open youth records

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) is the law that protects the privacy of youth records. It has a list of people who can see or access your youth record. They can only access your youth record if it's open. To find out if your youth record is open, see Step 3.

These people are allowed to access your open youth records:

  • you and your lawyer
  • the Crown
  • the victim, for example if they want to see information such as an apology letter
  • your parents or another adult who is helping you in the place of a lawyer, but this is rare
  • the police or a judge, for example if they need information to make a decision, such as how to deal with new charges
  • some people working in the court system
  • some people with specific job roles in the government
  • people who manage your if you're found guilty, such as a officer

These people aren't allowed to share the information in your youth records with anyone else, including potential employers or school officials. If they do, they could be charged with an under the YCJA.

People who are not on this list must get permission from a youth court judge if they want to access your youth records. The judge must say “no” unless there is a good reason. For example, if someone needs your records to prove that they aren't guilty of a crime, the judge would have a good reason to say “yes”.

Sealing or erasing youth records

After a specific amount of time, your youth records must be sealed or erased. When a record is sealed, it's closed forever and no one is allowed to access it except you or your lawyer. No one else can see the record unless they get a special order from a youth court judge that says it's okay.

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