How does sentencing work in youth criminal court?

3. Collect supporting documents

Before your sentencing you should collect all the documents, records, reports, or other information you plan to give to the judge. You should focus on collecting things that help show the judge why the you're recommending is appropriate.

Examples of things you may want to collect include:

  • report cards
  • certificates, letters, or information from courses or programs you have completed
  • information about courses or programs you plan to complete
  • letters or reports from any counselling or rehabilitation you have done
  • supportive letters from community leaders or teachers
  • documents confirming any community service or volunteer work
  • if you have had a job before, information about your work history, such as a reference letter from your boss
  • information about school involvement, such as clubs or sports teams

You don't have to tell your work, school, or any other person or place about your court case. However, if you feel comfortable, getting a letter or certificate from them can help you at your sentencing hearing.

Other documents you should take with you to your sentencing hearing include:

  • a written statement if you plan on reading a statement to the judge
  • an apology letter if you plan on giving an apology letter to the victim

These lists are just examples. You can collect other documents or information that will help the judge to understand your background and your plans for the future.

If you have a lawyer, give these documents to your lawyer to give to the court. If you don't have a lawyer, you should always take at least 3 copies of each document to the sentencing hearing: one for the judge, one for the Crown, and one for you to keep. The Crown will also give you a copy of any documents they plan to give to the judge.

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